Connectivity, that fill Putnam’s mind. For instance,

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Connectivity, solidarity, trust, and network make up social capital. In “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” by Robert D. Putnam, the author conveys the concept of social capital which, utilizes American individuals taking part in the sport of bowling as a metaphor for the issues that fill Putnam’s mind. For instance, it’s much easier to communicate when individuals know and trust each other. Putnam portrays how citizens of the United States have failed to engage in the simplest act of citizenship. For example, in the political sense, the decline in the voter turnout, and the drop in attendance at public meetings on town or school affairs. Putnam defines social capital as the “connection among individuals” in other words creating bonds among neighbors. The author identifies physical, human, and social capital. Putnam states, physical and human kinds of capital, refer to “tools and training,” which are vital sources that enable individuals to be active. During the twentieth century,  Americans had frequently been involved in community life however that trend had a drastic change.  As Americans pulled apart, the involvement in community declined. Putnam states, “Americans’ direct engagement in politics and government has fallen steadily and sharply over the last generation…” (Page 385). Throughout his essay, Putnam explains the decline of social capital over the years. For example, the number of people that have attended a public meeting on town or school affairs fell 22% in 1973 to 13% in 1993. According to Putnam, participation has been diminishing in all phases. For example, older adults still participate yet no young individuals to replace them. According to the text, Putnam based his allegations on numerous surveys and research that illustrated the reduction of civic engagement. For instance, Putnam stated that women are starting to work to care for her family profoundly affected the decline of public involvement. Hence, when women began to be employed, groups and organizations nearly fell. People can have different perspectives when it comes to political engagement whether it being for religious purposes or morals. On the other hand, civic engagement encourages citizens to work in a union which allows individuals to join in political acts voluntarily.     Subsequently, we need social capital to survive.  The decline in these rituals, not only does it influence the society but it also affects the government. The power to govern comes directly from the people. Therefore, every individual has a voice, different beliefs on various topics hence they should use it on political issues. Losing interest in the political problems will only affect the future generations. Due to modern technology, it is much easier to be individualistic and lose communication with one another.

Categories: United States


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