Bowling Alone

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
  • 156 x 236 x 34.29mm | 500g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0743203046
  • 9780743203043
  • 12,758

Table of contents

CHAPTER 1: Thinking about Social Change in America
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
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
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
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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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Review quote

Alan Ehrenhalt The Wall Street Journal A powerful argument...presented in a lucid and readable way. 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. Julia Keller Chicago Tribune A learned and clearly focused snapshot of a crucial moment in American history. Wendy Rahn The Washington Post This is a very important book; it's the de Tocqueville of our generation. And you don't often hear an academic like me say those sorts of things. Richard Flacks Los Angeles Times Putnam styles himself as a kind of sociological detective....The reader experiences the suspense that can happen in both detective fiction and science.
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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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Rating details

4,629 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 24% (1,115)
4 40% (1,841)
3 28% (1,294)
2 7% (302)
1 2% (77)
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