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Rebuilding community
Robert D. Putnam became widely known in the 1990s for his influential articleBowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” (Journal of Democracy, January 1995) in which he explored the significance ofsocial capital”—the social networks that are formed by church groups, bowling leagues and service and fraternal organizations. Putnam, professor of public policy at Harvard, suggested that social capital had recently suffered a dramatic decline. Americans, who were once prolific creators and joiners of voluntary organizations, were now detaching themselves from their civic involvements. They were bowling alone.

 

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