Book Review: Bowling Alone

This is Hearthie’s review of the book Bowling Alone.

I haven’t read this book, but I am planning to read it very soon. The loss of community bonds and social capital is a topic that interests me greatly.

When I read this book later in the spring, I’ll add my thoughts.

Hands, Heart, Hearth

bowling_alone

20 years late to the party is better than never….

It’s the habit of most of my readers and friends online to discuss the whys and wherefores of community involvement, religious involvement, and “how did we get into the mess we’re in”.   This book looks at the correlative and causative factors in the demise of community involvement (from politics to religion to the Lion’s club) and gives some theories about what we might do about it, now that we’re here.

A short quote to sum things up:

“To predict whether I am likely to give time, money, blood, or even a minor favor, you need to know, above all, how active I am in community life and how strong my ties to family, friends, and neighbors are.”  (p. 120-121)

In other words, being a member of the Bumble Bee Association makes you more likely to vote or pick up trash…

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Bowling Alone

  1. hearthie says:

    Thanks for the reblog. I’m reading another book “Social” now, and it fits together nicely. Brain, exploding with happy fireworks. This whole “reading real stuff” thing is working out well for me….

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  2. hearthie says:

    I guess you could say something about outgroups being discouraging to those who would be more community oriented, and Putnam mentions it as an aside, but I really think it was more TV. This is confirmed by my dad, and my own observations about humans being lazy and always ready to do the least possible.

    I think of TV as the social capital version of Twinkies. You’re getting …something… but not anything that’s actually going to benefit anything south of your tastebuds.

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  3. Elspeth says:

    but I really think it was more TV

    Yeah, being able to entertain yourself at home for hours without any mental exertion or interpersonal human interactions? A total gamechanger.

    Like

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