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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As a fraction of potential membership , the market share ” for these thirty - two
organizations skyrocketed . ... The breadth of this civic explosion encompassed
virtually every organization on the list , from “ oldfashioned ” ones like the Grange
That they converge so closely in their estimate that active involvement in local
organizations fell by more than half in the ... Another “ hard ” indicator of the
priority Americans attribute to organizational involvement is the fraction of our
First , organizations themselves have life cycles that may be independent of the
vitality of the communities in which they exist . If the Elks club is fading , perhaps
its place is being taken by myriad other organizations , all of them still too young ...
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