Study Guide

Bowling Alone - Section 4: Chapter 18, Safe and Productive Neighborhoods Summary & Analysis

Robert D. Putnam
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Section 4: Chapter 18, Safe and Productive Neighborhoods Summary and Analysis

Social capital also benefits neighborhoods. Higher social capital often means cleaner spaces, friendlier people, and less crime. Scholars have long wondered why some areas seemed to have less crime and vandalism than others. They found that areas with less social participation and more anonymity were more likely to see these negative issues. Studies are pretty straight forward on one issues: higher social capital equals less crime.

States with higher social capital tend to be more rural, more educated, and wealthier. Social capital also helps predict the rate of homicide. In fact, it is more important in this prediction than education and income inequality. Putnam suggests that the higher rates of violence in Southern states may be due to lower social capital.

Part of the inner city crisis, according to Putnam, is...

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