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Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
by Robert D. Putnam
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"Putnam's work shows how social bonds are the most powerful predictor of life satisfaction. For example, he reports that getting married is the equivalent of quadrupling your income and attending a club meeting regularly is the equivalent of doubling your income. The loss of social capital … (more)
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20th century
American culture
American history
civic engagement
civil society
cultural studies
current affairs
political science
social capital
social change
social criticism
social networks
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Very interesting and important, but too long and dry. ( )
bederson | Dec 17, 2020 |
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. ( )
JosephKing6602 | Sep 24, 2020 |
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 cited this. Putnam did have an ambitious undertaking here, and went through a serious amount of quantitative data to support his claims. A useful follow-up would be a new edition that takes into account where the trends in meeting people and forming clubs and associations have evolved now that the internet is as ubiquitous as it has become twenty years later. He did touch on the nascent changes that this was bringing at the time of publication, which was prescient. ( )
jonerthon | Jun 5, 2020 |
Slow going. Has a lot of interesting info, but as I got halfway through I found myself going to the end of each chapter to read the recap/summary of it. I'm mainly doing that b/c I have other things I want to read more, and no longer want to put in the time to finish this one. There's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's definitely structured as a sociological analysis. ( )
SaraMSLIS | Jan 26, 2016 |
A study of non-participation in community building. ( )
clifforddham | Aug 14, 2015 |
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 thingScore 75
''Many Americans continue to claim that we are 'members' of various organizations,'' as Putnam writes, ''but most Americans no longer spend much time in community organizations -- we've stopped doing committee work, stopped serving as officers and stopped going to meetings. And all this despite rapid increases in education that have given more of us than ever before the skills, the resources and the interests that once fostered civic engagement.'
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The New York Times, Margeret Talbot (Jun 25, 2000)
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To Ruth Swank Putnam and to the memory of Frank L. Putnam, Louis Werner, and Zelda Wolock Werner, exemplars of the long civic generation
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No one is left from the Glenn Valley, Pennsylvania, Bridge Club who can tell us precisely when or why the group broke up, even though its forty-off members were still playing regularly as recently as 1990, just as they had done for more than half a century.
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"Putnam's work shows how social bonds are the most powerful predictor of life satisfaction. For example, he reports that getting married is the equivalent of quadrupling your income and attending a club meeting regularly is the equivalent of doubling your income. The loss of social capital is felt in critical ways: Communities with less social capital have lower educational performance and more teen pregnancy, child suicide, low birth weight, and prenatal mortality. Social capital is also a strong predictor of crime rates and other measures of neighborhood quality of life, as it is of our health: In quantitative terms, if you both smoke and belong to no groups, it's a close call as to which is the riskier behavior."--BOOK JACKET.
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