Bowling Alone : The Collapse and Revival of American Community
by Robert Putnam
Editor: Simon & Schuster Ltd
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BOWLING ALONE warns Americans that their stock of “social capital”, the very fabric of their relationships with each other, has been accelerating the decline.Putnam describes the resultant impoverishment of their lives and communitiesBased on evidence that includes nearly half a million interviews conducted over a quarter-century in America, Putnam shows how changes in work, family structure, age, suburban life, television, computers, women’s roles and other factors isolate Americans from each other in a trend whose thinking can be clearly seen in British society.We sign 30% fewer petitions than we did ten years agoBelonging to organizations – Boy Scouts’ membership of political parties and the Church that is falling apartRelationships with relatives and friends are frayed: we are 35 percent less likely to visit one of our neighbours or have dinner with our families than we were thirty years ago.We watched sports instead of our friendsA century ago, U. S. citizens ” means of connection have been at a low point after decades of urbanization, industrialization and immigration uprooted from their families and friendsThis generation has demonstrated a capacity for renewal through the creation of organizations that have drawn AmericansPutnam shows how we can learn from them and jointly reinvent companies that make us safe, productive, happy and hopeful.
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