Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
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, 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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Probing further reveals that mail - order “ membership ” turns out to be a poor
measure of civic engagement . For example , membership in the Environmental
Defense Fund ( EDF ) tripled from one hundred thousand in 1988 to three
As a fraction of potential membership , the market share ” for these thirty - two
organizations skyrocketed . Because of growing population , the increase was
even more dramatic . The breadth of this civic explosion encompassed virtually
with friends and relatives declined by about 10 percent , organizational
memberships fell by 16 percent , and church ... Examined more closely , these
surveys found significant declines in membership in unions ; church groups ;
fraternal 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