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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I explored this in depth in a 2010 book with David E. Campbell, American Grace:
How Religion Divides and Unites Us. That work detailed how Americans today
are experiencing faith in increasingly individualistic ways. This dramatic “rise of ...
... as an adult, and I've often felt guilty about it. I thought it was just me, but after
reading your book I now know that it's the whole country.” For the great mainline
civic and religious organizations that dominated midcentury America, Bowling ...
Examples of bridging social capital include the civil rights movement, many youth
service groups, and ecumenical religious organizations. Bonding social capital is
good for undergirding specific reciprocity and mobilizing solidarity. Dense ...
The black church, for example, brings together people of the same race and
religion across class lines. The Knights of Columbus was created to bridge
cleavages among different ethnic communities while bonding along religious 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