Bowling alone essay

Putnam then contrasts the countertrends of ever increasing mass-membership organizations, nonprofit organizations, and support groups to the data of the General Social Survey . This data shows an aggregate decline in membership of traditional civic organizations, supporting his thesis that . social capital has declined. He then asks the obvious question "Why is US social capital eroding?". [4] He believes the "movement of women into the workforce", [5] the "re-potting hypothesis" [6] [7] and other demographic changes have made little impact on the number of individuals engaging in civic associations. Instead, he looks to the technological "individualizing" of our leisure time via television , Internet , and eventually " virtual reality helmets". [8]

A society that expects to thrive can ill afford to be without sound social capital, for that resource fosters what Putnam calls “sturdy norms of reciprocity.” At the heart of those norms is a sense of mutual trust. Where such trust is found, people can count on each other for help, support, and commitment that encourage and create shared causes. Quoting baseball’s Yogi Berra, Putnam says that the reciprocal features of social capital he has in mind are largely summed up in the adage: “If you don’t go to somebody’s funeral, they won’t come to yours.”

Bowling alone essay

bowling alone essay

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