Study Guide

Bowling Alone - Section 3: Chapter 15, What Killed Civic Engagement? Summing Up Summary & Analysis

Robert D. Putnam
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Section 3: Chapter 15, What Killed Civic Engagement? Summing Up Summary and Analysis

In this chapter, Putnam reviews additional evidence and arguments for what caused the decline in civic engagement. First, the structure of the American family changed and the decline in civic engagement happened at about the same time. Evidence does show that family bonds are less strong now than in the past, but these aspects probably haven't contributed much to the overall decline in civic engagement.

Putnam also looks at race as a possible reason. The decline occurred just after the civil rights movement in the 1960s. However, racial differences in organizational membership are small and all races have been affected by the decline in social capital. Finally, it would be difficult to reconcile the generational difference to white flight. Racism, then, probably doesn't account for the change...

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This section contains 415 words
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