Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Bowling Alone warns Americans that their stock of "social capital", the very fabric of their connections with each other, has been accelerating down.

Putnam D. Robert, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2000.

From amazon.com: In a groundbreaking book based on vast new data, Robert Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbours and our democratic structures- and how we may reconnect. 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.

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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