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Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Robert D. Putnam
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7. August 2001
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 that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe.

Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society, and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam’s Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.

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  • Taschenbuch: 544 Seiten
  • Verlag: Simon & Schuster; Auflage: Touchstone. (7. August 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0743203046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743203043
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,4 x 14,2 x 3,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (14 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 50.959 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Few people outside certain scholarly circles had heard the name Robert D. Putnam before 1995. But then this self-described "obscure academic" hit a nerve with a journal article called "Bowling Alone." Suddenly he found himself invited to Camp David, his picture in People magazine, and his thesis at the center of a raging debate. In a nutshell, he argued that civil society was breaking down as Americans became more disconnected from their families, neighbors, communities, and the republic itself. The organizations that gave life to democracy were fraying. Bowling became his driving metaphor. Years ago, he wrote, thousands of people belonged to bowling leagues. Today, however, they're more likely to bowl alone:
Television, two-career families, suburban sprawl, generational changes in values--these and other changes in American society have meant that fewer and fewer of us find that the League of Women Voters, or the United Way, or the Shriners, or the monthly bridge club, or even a Sunday picnic with friends fits the way we have come to live. Our growing social-capital deficit threatens educational performance, safe neighborhoods, equitable tax collection, democratic responsiveness, everyday honesty, and even our health and happiness.
The conclusions reached in the book Bowling Alone rest on a mountain of data gathered by Putnam and a team of researchers since his original essay appeared. Its breadth of information is astounding--yes, he really has statistics showing people are less likely to take Sunday picnics nowadays. Dozens of charts and graphs track everything from trends in PTA participation to the number of times Americans say they give "the finger" to other drivers each year. If nothing else, Bowling Alone is a fascinating collection of factoids. Yet it does seem to provide an explanation for why "we tell pollsters that we wish we lived in a more civil, more trustworthy, more collectively caring community." What's more, writes Putnam, "Americans are right that the bonds of our communities have withered, and we are right to fear that this transformation has very real costs." Putnam takes a stab at suggesting how things might change, but the book's real strength is in its diagnosis rather than its proposed solutions. Bowling Alone won't make Putnam any less controversial, but it may come to be known as a path-breaking work of scholarship, one whose influence has a long reach into the 21st century. --John J. Miller -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Alan Ryan The New York Review of Books Rich, dense, thoughtful, fascinating...packed with provocative information about the social and political habits of twentieth-century Americans.

Richard Flacks Los Angeles Times Putnam styles himself as a kind of sociological detective....The reader experiences the suspense that can happen in both detective fiction and science.

Wendy Rahn The Washington Post This is a very important book; it's the de Tocqueville of our generation. And you don't often hear an academic like me say those sorts of things.

Alan Ehrenhalt The Wall Street Journal A powerful argument...presented in a lucid and readable way.

Julia Keller Chicago Tribune A learned and clearly focused snapshot of a crucial moment in American history.

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
NO ONE IS LEFT from the Glenn Valley, Pennsylvania, Bridge Club who can tell us precisely when or why the group broke up, even though its forty-odd members were still playing regularly as recently as 1990, just as they had done for more than half a century. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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4.3 von 5 Sternen
4.3 von 5 Sternen
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I'm writing this review for non-sociologists and non-policy experts, for people like me who don't generally curl up with a book of sociology. "Bowling Alone" is an important work because it highlights some very disturbing trends at work in America and suggests some solutions.
Author Robert Putnam measures "social capital," which is simply the value of people dealing with people--organization and communication, whether it's formal (church council, the PTA), or informal (the neighborhood tavern, the weekly card game). We have suffered a huge drop in such "social capital" over the past 30-35 years; club attendance has fallen by more than half, church attendance is off, home entertaining is off, even card games are off by half. (Yes, there are people who survey for that!)
Why is this important? Because a society that is rich in social capital is healthier, both for the group and for the individual. The states that have the highest club membership and voter turnouts also have the most income equality and the best schools (and those that have the lowest, have the worst). And according to Putnam, "if you decide to join [a group], you can cut your risk of dying over the next year in half." Younger people are demonstrably less social than their grandparents in the World War II generation. They also feel more malaise. Lack of sociability makes people feel worse.
While "Bowling Alone" is a work of academic sociology, with charts and graphs, Putnam makes it as reader-friendly as possible with a good honest prose style and a straightforward presentation. His message deserves to be heard.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Densely packed but fruitful 17. Juli 2000
Von josakana
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Bowling Alone is a pretty weighty tome with an increidble density of facts and figures. Subtitled "The Collapse and Revival of American Community", that fourth word is the only thing that gets you through the first third of the book which is staggeringly depressing. Using a huge variety of cross-referenced statistics normalized for race, income, and everything else, Robert D. Putnam, a Hahvahd professor of Public Policy, shows how people are participating less and less in politics, civics, religion, workplace-related social connections, informal social connections, volunteering less, trusting less, and generally meeting with others less.
Section II asks why, looks at changes over generations, blames television and points out that the only factor that is likely to increase a person's social involvement is education. He follows up on the social connections glanced at and questioned at the second of Section I and sums up the reasons for an overwhelming decline in social involvement. Interestingly, he claims the reason for Silicon Valley's greater influence in the world over Boston's Route 128 area is one of greater social capital.
Section III is the kicker though, and the real problem is that you have to wade through 350 pages of dense and depressing graphs and statistics to get to it, but if you didn't then you wouldn't believe the conclusions. People with more social capital are healthier (backed up by a big metric buttload of statistics, summed up as "people who are socially disconnected are between two and five times more likely to die from all causes, compared with matched individuals who have close ties with family, friendsa nd the community.").
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4.0 von 5 Sternen An awfully big axe 14. Juli 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Robert Putnam has gathered more statistics than one would think possible in his effort to prove that communities are under siege in America. Most of these facts boil down to the central conclusion that we go out less often in smaller groups, and when we're out there, we're less civil to each other.
All this does support his point admirably. However, as one willing to concede his point from the very beginning (is anyone out there likely to argue the opposite), I would have been interested in a more detailed and (dare I say it?) more theoretical discussion of causes and implications, beyond the old chestnut that "this Brave New World is changing everything, and it's hard to predict what will come next."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Promise of Social Capitalism 18. Mai 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When I first came across the idea that Robert Putnam wrote about in his 1995 article Bowling Alone, I felt like a whole new world and language had been openned up to me. Every thing he writes about in his book is familiar, and yet it is fresh and insightful. The crux of the matter is that our social connectedness is diminishing. Social capital, or the value that exists in the level of trust and reciprocity between individuals, institutions and communities needs to be strengthen. This isn't just about being better people or having a stronger economy. This is about the network of relationships that determine whether a society, both local and national, can meet the challenges of its problems, and thereby sustain a high quality of life.
Putnam's book should be read as an exercise in building social capital. By this I mean, you should distribute it to friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and especially elected officials in your community. Then plan to meet and discuss it over lunch or coffee. This book has the potential for being the most significant book on society in a generation. When we scratch our heads and wonder why in the midst of a booming economy, we have such tragic social dysfunction in our society, you can look to Putnam's book as a perspective that offers promise that social capitalism is a signficant aspect of the answer.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Terrific & Penetrating View At American Loss Of Community!
It amazes me how often an academic with an important piece of the truth about the nature of contemporary social reality becomes embroiled in an avalanche of escalating public... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 30. Juli 2000 von Barron Laycock
4.0 von 5 Sternen Highly thought-provoking and highly persuasive
On the positive side, Putnam's thesis is both important and fascinating. There is a ton of food for thought in this well written, thought-provoking and somewhat depressing... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juli 2000 von P. Meltzer
5.0 von 5 Sternen Can You Handle the Truth?
Putnam's commentary on modern American life is frightening at best.
I read Putnam's article by the same title in college and it left a lasting imprint because it crystalized... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 21. Juli 2000 von Joshua D. Hamilton
3.0 von 5 Sternen Pulls Its Punches
I was disappointed in this book because it didn't explore what I think is clearly one of the major contributors to the decline in civic culture over the past thirty years: the... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 12. Juli 2000 von Kevin Douglas
4.0 von 5 Sternen All In All, Another Brick In The Wall!
Wow! Once again an academic with an important piece of the truth about the nature of contemporary social reality has become embroiled in an avalanche of escalating public... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 5. Juli 2000 von Barron Laycock
4.0 von 5 Sternen Putnam And The Flip Side Of McLuhan's Village Prophecy
Over thirty years ago Marshall McLuhan predicted that the world would inevitably become more like a village. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 3. Juli 2000 von David Thomson
5.0 von 5 Sternen American Tragedy-American Truths!
What an honest assessment of our time in this country. Read it and weep! Well founded observations that clearly are documented and noteworthy for all. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2000 von Bernadette A. Moyer
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Cornucopia -- a mixed bag of fruit
This book is disturbing. It convincingly demonstrates that webs of relationships have many positive yields - and that is threatening to the "silent majority" of... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 18. Juni 2000 von Thomas J. Brucia
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Value of Trust and Communication in a Community
The small, midwest city for which I work as a city planner/administrator has experienced a long and steady decline in effective social engagement. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 29. Mai 2000 von R. Tomlin
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