Bowling Alone
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Bowling Alone : The Collapse and Revival of American Community

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BOWLING ALONE warns Americans that their stock of "social capital", the very fabric of their connections with each other, has been accelerating down. Putnam describes the resulting impoverishment of their lives and communities. Drawing on evidence that includes nearly half a million interviews conducted over a quarter of a century in America, Putnam shows how changes in work, family structure, age, suburban life, television, computers, women's roles and other factors are isolating Americans from each other in a trend whose reflection can clearly be seen in British society. We sign 30 percent fewer petitions than we did ten years ago. Membership in organisations- from the Boy Scouts to political parties and the Church is falling. Ties with friends and relatives are fraying: we're 35 percent less likely to visit our neighbours or have dinner with our families than we were thirty years ago. We watch sport alone instead of with our friends. A century ago, American citizens' means of connecting were at a low point after decades of urbanisation, industrialisation and immigration uprooted them from families and friends. That generation demonstrated a capacity for renewal by creating the organisations that pulled Americans together. Putnam shows how we can learn from them and reinvent common enterprises that will make us secure, productive, happy and hopeful.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 140 x 212 x 34mm | 498.95g
  • Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0743203046
  • 9780743203043
  • 15,248

Review quote

Julia Keller "Chicago Tribune" A learned and clearly focused snapshot of a crucial moment in American history.

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About Robert Putnam

Robert D. Putnam is the Professor of International Peace at Harvard University. He is the authour of six previous books, and his articles have appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT as well as many other publications.

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Review Text

Alan Ryan The New York Review of Books Rich, dense, thoughtful, fascinating...packed with provocative information about the social and political habits of twentieth-century Americans.

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Table of contents

Contents §SECTION I: INTRODUCTION §CHAPTER 1: Thinking about Social Change in America§SECTION II: TRENDS IN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND SOCIAL CAPITAL §CHAPTER 2: Political Participation§CHAPTER 3: Civic Participation§CHAPTER 4: Religious Participation§CHAPTER 5: Connections in the Workplace§CHAPTER 6: Informal Social Connections§CHAPTER 7: Altruism, Volunteering, and Philanthropy§CHAPTER 8: Reciprocity, Honesty, and Trust§CHAPTER 9: Against the Tide? Small Groups, Social Movements, and the Net§SECTION III: WHY? §CHAPTER 10: Introduction§CHAPTER 11: Pressures of Time and Money§CHAPTER 12: Mobility and Sprawl§CHAPTER 13: Technology and Mass Media§CHAPTER 14: From Generation to Generation§CHAPTER 15: What Killed Civic Engagement? Summing Up§SECTION IV: SO WHAT? (with the assistance of Kristin A. Goss) §CHAPTER 16: Introduction§CHAPTER 17: Education and Children's Welfare§CHAPTER 18: Safe and Productive Neighborhoods§CHAPTER 19: Economic Prosperity§CHAPTER 20: Health and Happiness§CHAPTER 21: Democracy§CHAPTER 22: The Dark Side of Social Capital§SECTION V: WHAT IS TO BE DONE? §CHAPTER 23: Lessons of History: The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era§CHAPTER 24: Toward an Agenda for Social Capitalists§APPENDIX I: Measuring Social Change§APPENDIX II: Sources for Figures and Tables§APPENDIX III: The Rise and Fall of Civic and Professional Associations§NOTES§THE STORY BEHIND THIS BOOK§INDEX

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