Robert Putnam Bowling Alone Thesis

Robert Putnam Bowling Alone Thesis-24
Social capital refers to "the connections among individuals' social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them." (p 19) Much like the economic concepts of physical and human capital, the social networks of social capital are thought to have value.empirically demonstrates a drop in social capital in contemporary America, identifies the cause and consequences of this drop, and suggests ways to improve social capital in the future.

Social capital refers to "the connections among individuals' social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them." (p 19) Much like the economic concepts of physical and human capital, the social networks of social capital are thought to have value.empirically demonstrates a drop in social capital in contemporary America, identifies the cause and consequences of this drop, and suggests ways to improve social capital in the future.

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This change prompted Putnam to worry that the decline of membership in community groups was eroding America’s social capital.

The book prompted a great deal of debate and some controversy over Putnam’s conclusions that America’s social capital was rapidly declining.

And his vivid ten-pin metaphor — derived from the observation that “more Americans are bowling today than ever before, but bowling in organized leagues has plummeted” — set off hand-wringing from coast to coast about America’s declining sense of community.

Social capital is the mutual trust and cooperation that arises from the web of connections among people involved in organizations and community groups.

Also, working with others helps build a sense of community and trust among citizens, which, in turn, creates more social capital.

One of the most difficult tasks for any democratizing country is the building of civil society.

Many political scientists regard social capital as essential to democracy because social capital forges bonds between members of the community.

These bonds enable people to readily join together.

For example: a black church may bond individuals based on race and religious belief, but bridge individuals across class lines.

Having described what social capital is, Putnam turns his attention to how it has changed over time by conducting a meta-analysis of a large body of data from various sources.

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