Study Guide

Bowling Alone - Section 2: Chapter 8, Reciprocity, Honesty, and Trust Summary & Analysis

Robert D. Putnam
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Section 2: Chapter 8, Reciprocity, Honesty, and Trust Summary and Analysis

Reciprocity is the "touchstone of social capital" according to Putnam. The idea is that one person does something for another, without knowing if or when the favor will be returned. Many moral rules are based on this idea, such as the Golden Rule. A society that operates with reciprocity is more trustful and is more efficient, since people don't have to calculate the costs of acting or receiving constantly. However, social trust and reciprocity work only if everyone puts into the system. Both reciprocity and trust, in addition, are often related to the density of the networks. The denser and more frequent the network interactions, the more trust there will be in most cases.

Social trust in the sense of giving people the benefit of the doubt is often related to...

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This section contains 348 words
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