Bowling Alone

The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Ranked #46 in Sociology, Ranked #66 in Urban Planning

Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work--but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement."

Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures--whether they be PTA, church, or political parties--have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm...

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Mark Manson Founder/MarkManson.netThe problem is that modern society requires community engagement to function well. When everyone is just off doing their own thing, a lot of institutions and social necessities begin to fall apart. My own takeaway from this, having studied human happiness for years, is that people rely on a sense of community and shared effort to maintain healthy and stable lives. The fact that people are opting out of these opportunities for community and local impact, in a ceaseless obsession of online media and global fame, likely explains a lot of the social changes going on today. And a lot of the drops... (Source)

Trevor Phillips Bowling Alone is really important. What Putnam gave us with this book was the idea of social capital. When I was head of the Commission for Racial Equality [now merged into the Equality and Human Rights Commission] I always put it that the two great challenges that face humankind are how we live with the planet and how we live together. Those two collide because climate change is moving vast populations across continents. It means that this year, if you are in Pakistan or some parts of India or various African countries, several hundred thousand people might show up on your doorstep. You... (Source)

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