Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

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Bowling Alone
Author(s) Robert D. Putnam
Language English
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication year 2000
Pages 544
ISBN 0684832836

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community is a 2000 book by Robert D. Putnam. It was developed from his 1995 essay entitled "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital".

The book described the decline in the United States of social trust, social involvement, "social capital", and related factors. For example, decline in political involvement involved decreased voter turnout, public meeting attendance, serving on committees, and working with political parties. Putnam also cited Americans' growing distrust in their government. He noted the aggregate loss in membership and number of volunteers in many existing civic organizations. Putnam also used bowling as an example. Although the number of people who bowl had increased in the last 20 years, the number of people who bowled in leagues had decreased. If people bowl alone, they do not participate in social interaction and civic discussions that might occur in a league environment.

However, the book tried to blame this on more politically correct factors than the mass immigration and the declining ethnic heterogeneity.

"He later analyzed census and survey data to find out what role racial diversity plays in all this — whether it deepens attachment to community or further atomizes people. To his dismay, he found that racial and ethnic diversity destroys trust in neighbors and institutions."[1]

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