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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In examining the hypothesis of a decline in informal social connections, Bowling
Alone drew on many different data sources, but the dispute between Fischer and
McPherson et al. raged entirely on the basis of a single data archive: the ...
Physical capital is not a single “thing,” and different forms of physical capital are
not interchangeable. An eggbeater and an aircraft carrier both appear as
physical capital in our national accounts, but the eggbeater is not much use for
Exhaustive descriptions of social networks in America—even at a single point in
time—do not exist. I have found no reliable, comprehensive, nationwide
measures of social capital that neatly distinguish “bridgingness” and “
If pollen counts in polar ice, and the width of southwestern tree rings, and
temperature records of the British Admiralty all point in a similar direction, the
inference of global warming is stronger than if the cord of evidence has only a
single strand ...
Life is not lived in a single dimension. We should not expect to find everything
changing in the same direction and at the same speed, but those very anomalies
may contain important clues to what is happening. American society, like the ...
What people are saying - Write a 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
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ddonahue - LibraryThing
The present withdrawal of the individual from social organizations now resembles the situation after WW I as depicted in Chapter IX of Eckstein's Rites of Spring, in which he describes veteran's eschewal of social commitments. Read full review