Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital

  title={Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital},
  author={Robert D. Putnam},
  journal={Journal of Democracy},
  pages={65 - 78}
  • R. Putnam
  • Published 1 January 1995
  • History
  • Journal of Democracy
After briefly explaining why social capital (civil society) is important to democracy, Putnam devotes the bulk of this chapter to demonstrating social capital’s decline in the United States across the last quarter century. (See Putnam 1995 for a similar but more detailed argument.) While he acknowledges that the significance of a few countertrends is difficult to assess without further study, Putnam concludes that crucial factors such as social trust are eroding rapidly in the United States. He… 

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