Study Guide

Bowling Alone Themes

Robert D. Putnam
This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bowling Alone.
This section contains 724 words
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Social Capital

One of the major themes in Bowling Alone is social capital. Putnam states that the term has been coined to refer to the way social bonds make people's lives more productive. This includes aspects such as fellowship, social interaction, sympathy, and social support. It has also been used to refer to social networks, which indicate that it is often who one knows and not what one knows when searching for a job or fulfilling other needs. Social capital for Putnam is both a private good and a public good, benefiting individuals, communities, and nations.

Putnam argues that social capital has declined in the second half of the twentieth century. People are engaging less in society and participating less in civic affairs. Social networks and acts such as volunteering, giving money, and trusting others have decreased. He believes that this decline is due to a range of factors...

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This section contains 724 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bowling Alone Study Guide
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