The Theory That Won't Die: From Mass Society to the Decline of Social Capital

  title={The Theory That Won't Die: From Mass Society to the Decline of Social Capital},
  author={Irene Taviss Thomson},
  journal={Sociological Forum},
  • I. Thomson
  • Published 1 September 2005
  • Economics
  • Sociological Forum
Though it lacks adequate empirical support, the hypothesis of declining social attachments as a source of American social problems persists. Both mass society theory in the mid-twentieth century and the theory of declining social capital in the late-twentieth century have had broad appeal. This paper demonstrates the continuities in argument and assumptions between these two theories as well as the modifications of the theory in the face of cultural change. It suggests that some of the… 

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