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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... neighbors.12 Hanifan's account of social capital anticipated virtually all the
crucial elements in later interpretations, but his conceptual invention apparently
attracted no notice from other social commentators and disappeared without a
From the end of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth
virtually all African Americans (along with some poor whites) in southern states
were prevented from voting by poll taxes, literacy tests, fraud, and violence. This
Beneath the ups and downs of individual elections, however, virtually all the long
-run decline in turnout is due to the gradual replacement of voters who came of
age before or during the New Deal and World War II by the generations who ...
Virtually all of the decline in personal letter writing over the past several decades
is attributable not to individuals' changing their habits, but to the replacement of
one generation accustomed to communicating with distant friends and relatives ...
The answer is simple: The frequency of virtually every form of community
involvement measured in the Roper polls declined significantly, from the most
common—petition signing—to the least common—running for office. Americans
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