Date of publication: 2017-08-23 03:15
Robert Putnam has done us a great service here, and while aspects of his argument will no doubt be disputed over the coming years, his central message is surely true. Interaction enables people to build communities, to commit themselves to each other, and to knit the social fabric.
Various criticisms can be mounted against the argument and most tellingly, initially, against the data and its interpretation however, Putnam has mounted a very significant and sustained case here (see our social capital piece) but it is still open to various criticisms (see, for example, Skocpol 7558).
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Many of Phil's songs have been covered by other artists. Some of his best known songs are: "Changes", "There But For Fortune", "I Ain't Marching Anymore", "Draft Dodger", "Small Circle of Friends", Crucifixion" and "When I'm Gone".
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6. Attention. If you are going to learn anything, you have to be paying attention. Likewise, anything that puts a damper on attention is going to decrease learning, including observational learning. If, for example, you are sleepy, groggy, drugged, sick, nervous, or 8775 hyper, 8776 you will learn less well. Likewise, if you are being distracted by competing stimuli.
The follow-up US study to Bowling Alone has also stimulated debate. The first findings from the study found that, in the short run, immigration and ethnic diversity tended to reduce social solidarity and social capital. In ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’.
The data used was disputed – and there were a number of commentators who argued that what was being seen was change rather than necessarily decline (see the href= 8776 #debate 8776 Bowling Alone href= 8776 #debate 8776 debatebelow). However, the article was simply Putnam’s first step.
Here we will focus briefly on three aspects of his work. These are his exploration of the nature of civic community, his presentation of social capital, the Bowling Alone phenomenon, and its aftermath. From there we will turn to his significance for educators – in particular informal educators.
As part of his follow-up to the article Robert Putnam launched the Saguaro Seminars. These were a series of meetings held around the USA at which ‘leaders and intellectuals’ considered how they might ‘build bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities’. He is also founder of The Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, a programme that attempts to bring together leading practitioners and thinkers over a period of time to develop broad-scale, but actionable, ideas to fortify US civic connectedness.
At Swarthmore I was taught by two great teachers, the political theorist Roland Pennock, and a student of American government named Chuck Gilbert. They were very hard nosed, rigorous, serious thinkers, and that excited me – that you can apply some of the rigour of the sciences, where I was coming from, to politics. (Putnam interviewed in ECPR News 7555)
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