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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As more trusting generations have died out, they have been succeeded by less
trusting youth cohorts, leaving America a less trusting society, year after year.10
Contrary to these continued declines, the last two decades have seen little to no ...
Fully 77 percent said the nation was worse off because of “less involvement in
community activities.” In 1992 three-quarters of the U.S. workforce said that “the
breakdown of community” and “selfishness” were “serious” or “extremely serious”
Do we really know our neighbors less well than our parents did, or is our
childhood recollection of neighborhood barbecues suffused with a golden glow
of wishful reminiscence? Are friendly poker games less common now, or is it
merely that ...
Even in the midst of national election campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, for
example, these young people were about a third less likely than their elders to
know, for instance, which political party controlled the House of Representatives.
Each “worker” seems to be producing more and more “contacts.” In reality,
however, this trend is evidence of the professionalization and commercialization
of politics in America. The “contacts” that voters report are, in fact, less and less
likely to ...
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