Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work -- but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, Bowling Alone, which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement."
Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures -- whether they be PTA, church, or political parties -- have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe.
Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society, and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam's Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.
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... own city of Boston, used the language and arguments of Bowling Alone to
jump-start a highly successful new form of community engagement entitled SCI:
Social Capital Inc. Bowling Alone also sparked an interest in social capital in the
First, individuals form connections that benefit our own interests. One pervasive
strategem of ambitious job seekers is “networking,” for most of us get our jobs
because of whom we know, not what we know—that is, our social capital, not our
Some of the benefit from an investment in social capital goes to bystanders, while
some of the benefit redounds to the immediate interest of the person making the
investment. For example, service clubs, like Rotary or Lions, mobilize local ...
However, our interest here is not “How are we doing compared with other
countries?” but “How are we doing today compared with our own past?” The
answer to that question is less encouraging. We begin with the most common act
Throughout their lives and whatever their station in life and their level of political
interest, baby boomers and their children have been less likely to vote than their
parents and grandparents. As boomers and their children became a larger and ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JosephKing6602 - LibraryThing
Amazing use of archival data and formal US survey information. I read the edition published in 2000; I wish it were being updates for 2020. Very timely issues about civic engagement. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jonerthon - LibraryThing
Probably the last of the older titles that has been on my reading list too long. Though it is dated in some ways, I was glad to finally get through this one and understand why so many planners have ... Read full review