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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Before I had anything of substance to say on the matter, many Americans had
already noticed that they were less civically engaged than their parents had been
. So when a Harvard professor came along with a tome full of charts and graphs ...
Some types of social capital, like a Parent-Teacher Association, are formally
organized, with incorporation papers, regular meetings, a written constitution,
and connection to a national federation, whereas others, like a pickup basketball
Of baby boomers interviewed in 1987, 53 percent thought their parents'
generation was better in terms of “being a concerned citizen, involved in helping
others in the community,” as compared with only 21 percent who thought their
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 ...
Many middle-aged Americans today recall how reluctantly their parents picked
up the phone for a long-distance call, well after long-distance rates had fallen.
Gradually, generational differences became the dominant feature of this social ...
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