Study Guide

Bowling Alone - Section 2: Chapter 6, Informal Social Connections Summary & Analysis

Robert D. Putnam
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Section 2: Chapter 6, Informal Social Connections Summary and Analysis

Informal connections, such as getting together for dinner with friends, playing cards, or having a reading group, are often more frequent than the formal connections that happen in organizations and the workplace. People who invest lots of time in formal organizations are known in Yiddish as "machers." Those who spend time in informal conversation are "Schmoozers." In American life, machers attend club meetings, go to church services, volunteer in community organizations, and follow politics. Schmoozers engage in less-organized participation, although they have an active social life. Most people fall into one category or the other, or they fall into neither. Fewer people overlap as machers and schmoozers.

The two groups reflect a number of differences. Machers are often better educated and have higher incomes. Their formal community involvement tends to peak in late...

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This section contains 700 words
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