W e are living in a hyper-partisan, unequal, xenophobic time, when civil society is fragmenting, social capital is decaying, and communal life is fraying—so argue Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett in The Upswing. Putnam, arguably the most famous and respected political scientist of our day, is best known for Bowling Alone , a book published in that grew out of a journal article. The book was immediately influential and became one of the best-known titles in social science over the last half-century. When he looked at a variety of metrics—economic inequality, political partisanship, social dislocation, cultural narcissism—across the last hundred-some years of American life, he noticed that they all tracked one another. They were high in the Gilded Age, decreased steadily until the s an unprecedented time of economic equality, social and political harmony, and communitarianism and then began to rise once again through to our present day.
Robert Putnam, social capital and civic community
Bowling Alone - Wikipedia
Cities are now bastions of poverty, the concentration of the impoverished in cities began to skyrocket in the years following World War Two. The sharp increase of poor families living in cities is directly correlated to the middle class moving out of cities and into the suburbs. Readers have shifted their attention to online media sources, causing a decrease in print circulation and advertising revenue. Though there has been a rise in online advertising, the revenue is not increasing fast enough to fill the gap left by decreased print revenue Economist. The shift towards digital media has raised other concerns that may impact the profitability of news corporations. Journalists and news organizations rely on credibility for readership and business.
Robert D. Putnam
Putnam surveys the decline of social capital in the United States since He has described the reduction in all the forms of in-person social intercourse upon which Americans used to found, educate, and enrich the fabric of their social lives. He argues that this undermines the active civil engagement which a strong democracy requires from its citizens. Putnam discussed ways in which Americans disengaged from political involvement, including decreased voter turnout, attendance at public meetings, service on committees, and work with political parties. Putnam also cited Americans' growing distrust in their government.
Essay Economy. A poisonous theory has emerged from the most unlikely of sources: empirical evidence in hand, a progressive American political scientist maintains that racial diversity leads to civic malaise. Consistent with his research methodology, Putnam bases his argument on the findings of a vast survey, the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey , carried out in on a sample of about 30 individuals sub-divided into smaller sample groups residing in 41 different urban communities across the American territory, and chosen for their heterogeneity size, location, socioeconomic characteristics…. Racial diversity is understood as in the American census, but distinguishes only four groups: Hispanics, non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Asians.