Bowling Alone

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This is a presentation to accompany Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone. It includes all the major charts, graphs, and tables as well as an outline of the book.

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  • 'Bowling Alone' is a seminal essay in understanding the trajectory of the United States from World War II until the present moment. It is a fact based analysis of the social unconscious of American culture and explains a major reason we went from a secure prosperous nation to economic depression, legislative anarchy, and decline.
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Bowling Alone

  1. 1. Bowling Alone The collapse and Revival of American Community
  2. 2. Section I: Introduction
  3. 3. Chapter 1: Thinking about Social Change in America P. 15 “Kids today just aren’t joiners.”  Is this true?  How many groups/clubs/organizations do you belong to?  People are less trusting of those around them today.  What do you think? Can you trust people, generally?  Membership in community groups increased up to  the 1960s. Why is that?  Membership in community groups declined over the  last several decades Why this has occurred is the central question of the book.  What do you think? 
  4. 4. Social Capital P. 18 “the core idea of social capital theory is that  social networks have value.” What does that mean?  P. 19 “social capital refers to connections among  individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.” How is this “capital”?  Why might it be useful?  Can we measure social capital?  How much do you have?  Do you find that your social capital helps you in your  everyday life?
  5. 5. Physical vs. Human vs. Social What is physical capital?  Money or other tangible resources (what you can own)  What is human capital?  Collectively, people to accomplish some end  Individually, the skills and abilities an individual has  Which is more important when it comes to jobs?  P. 20 “most of us get our jobs because of whom we know, not  what we know…” Private aspect of social capital: We benefit from having a  network of connections Public aspect of social capital: Others benefit from  connected communities How? 
  6. 6. Reciprocity We tend to be willing to reciprocate actions – if  someone does something for you, you are willing to return the favor What about generalized reciprocity?  What is it?  How many of you engage in it and how do you do so?  Includes the idea of the Golden Rule  Examples: Driving, picking up trash, getting vaccinations  Is generalized reciprocity a good thing or bad thing? 
  7. 7. Bridging vs. Bonding Social capital can be used to bridge social divides  Getting to know people in an outgroup reduces prejudice  It also spreads information and provides additional  opportunities Examples?  Paper with John Stinespring; he’s an economist  It can also be used to forge stronger bonds between  members of a homogeneous group Spending time with people in your ingroups increases  solidarity Also useful for getting ahead  Examples?  Book chapter in book for James Richardson and Stuart Wright 
  8. 8. Community Decline What do you think…  Which generation is better at being a concerned citizen,  involved in helping others in the community, yours or your parents? Do you think people are more less involved in community  activities. Is there a breakdown in community in the US?  Is selfishness a problem in the US?  Is the honesty and integrity of the average American  improving or growing worse? Are people becoming more or less civil?  Are social and moral values higher now or were they  higher in the past?
  9. 9. Data Lots of sources (see references in the back)  Uses the “I may not be able to prove this  authoritatively, but I can provide overwhelming evidence to support my argument” approach Is this a valid approach? 
  10. 10. Section II: Trends in Civic Engagement and Social Capital
  11. 11. Chapter 2: Political Participation How are we doing compared to other countries?  Americans are less likely to vote and are less engaged  politically than most other democratic countries How are we doing compared to our own past?  Same story, to some degree… 
  12. 12. Figure 1: Trends in Presidential Voting (1828-1996), by Region 90 Percentage of Eligible Adults Voting 80 70 60 50 Jim Crow laws 40 introduced Civil rights movement 30 20 Outside South 10 0 Is the decline in voting generational?
  13. 13. % Voted in Presidential Elections by Cohort (GSS) 90 80 70 60 1880-1900 1901-1920 50 1921-1940 40 1941-1960 30 1961-1980 1981+ 20 10 0 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 Does this data agree with the generational argument?
  14. 14. Organizations per Million Population 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 Implications? 1987 1988 Regular Paid Staff, 1977-1996 1989 1990 1991 1992 Figure 2: Political Organizations with 1993 1994 1995 1996
  15. 15. Percentage of Voters Who Participated in Indicated Way during campaign 0 1 2 3 5 7 8 9 4 6 10 1950 1952 1956 1960 1962 1964 1968 1970 Meeting 1972 Activities, 1952-1996 1974 1976 Attended Political 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 Figure 3: Citizen Participation in Campaign 1998
  16. 16. Other declines How interested are you in politics?  What about current events?  Fraction of Americans uninvolved in any political activities has  increased by nearly one-third over the last 30 years P. 40 “On reflection, then, the contrast between increasing  party organizational vitality and declining voter involvement is perfectly intelligible. Since their “consumers” are tuning out from politics, parties have to work harder and spend much more, competing furiously to woo votes, workers, and donations and to do that they need a (paid) organizational infrastructure.” Has heDecline in the causal directionIncrease in reversed here?  Professionalizati Participation on Increase in Decline in Professionalizati Participation on
  17. 17. Figure 4: Trends in Civic Engagement I: Partisan Activities 14 Attended Political Rally or Speech 12 Worked for a Political Party 10 8 6 4 2 0 1981 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
  18. 18. Figure 5: Trends in Civic Engagement II: Communal Participation Attended a Public Meeting on Town or School Affairs Served as an Officer of Some Club or Organization 25 Served on a Committee for Some Local Organization Member of Some Group Interested in Better Government 20 15 10 5 0 1974 1972 1973 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
  19. 19. Figure 6: Trends in Civic Engagement III: Public Expression 40 signed a petition 35 30 wrote politician 25 20 wrote a letter to the paper 15 made a speech 10 5 wrote an article 0 for a magazine or newspaper
  20. 20. Table 1. Trends in political and community participation Activity Relative change 1973- 74 to 1993-94 Served as an officer of some club or organization -42% Worked for a political party -42% Served on a committee for some local organization -39% Attended a public meeting on town or school affairs -35% Attended a political rally or speech -34% Participated in at least one of these twelve activities -25% Made a speech -24% Wrote congressman or senator -23% Signed a petition -22% Was a member of some “better government” group -19% Held or ran for political office -16% Wrote a letter to the paper -14% Wrote an article for a magazine or newspaper -10%
  21. 21. Chapter 3 – Civic Participation Americans are pretty good “joiners” compared to  most countries, though less prolific than Europeans Any guesses as to why?  Three types of voluntary associations:  Community based, church based, work based  Numbers of groups have increased, but not the  memberships Average sizes of memberships is falling  Many are simply professionally staffed advocacy  groups based in D.C. No meetings; no chapters; just asking for donations  How many of these types of groups do you belong  to?
  22. 22. Figure 7: The Growth of National Nonprofit Associations, 1968-1997 100 National Nonprofit Associations per Million Population 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
  23. 23. Figure 8: Average Membership Rate in Thirty-Two National Chapter-Based Associations, 1900-1997 membership rate mean membership 1908 1900 1904 1912 1916 1920 1924 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992
  24. 24. Members per 100 Families with Kids 18 and Under 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1900 1904 1908 1912 1916 1920 1924 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 Figure 9: The Rise and Fall of the PTA, 1910-1997 1992 1997
  25. 25. Percent Who Have Served as Officer or on Committee (or Both) for Local Club or Organization in the Past Year 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 Involvement, 1973-1994 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 Figure 10: Active Organizational 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
  26. 26. Mean Number of Club Meetings per Year 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 Dwindles, 1973-1994 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 Figure 11: Club Meeting Attendance 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  27. 27. Time Diaries Amount of time people spend in organizational life has  declined based on time diary data 3.7 hours per month in 1965  2.9 in 1975  2.3 in 1983 and 1995  On average day, percentage spent time in a community  organization: 7% in 1965  3% in 1995  Money spent on club and fraternal dues  6 cents/dollar spent in 1929  3 cents/dollar spent in 1997  Primarily due to generational changes 
  28. 28. Chapter 4: Religious Participation Church affiliation has increased over time in the US  Though identifying as religious hasn’t really  In recent years it is declining, though most of the decline  has occurred since this book was published Additionally, participation in informal groups (not worship  services) is down by about 20% Is the decline of religion a good thing? Bad thing?  ½ of all associational membership in America are church  related ½ of all personal philanthropy is religious in character  ½ of all volunteering occurs in a religious context  Religious people have more social capital; they know  more people
  29. 29. Church Members per 100 Population 40 45 55 60 65 70 80 85 50 75 1930 1933 1936 1939 1942 1945 1948 1951 1954 1957 1960 1963 1966 1969 1972 1975 1978 Church Records and Survey Data 1981 gallup Poll 1984 Church Records 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 Figure 12: Church Membership, 1936-1999:
  30. 30. Average Weekly Church Attendance As Fraction of Adult Population 20 30 35 40 45 55 25 50 1940 1943 1946 1949 1952 1955 1958 1961 1964 Attendance, 1940-1999 1967 1970 1973 Figure 13: Trends in Church the Y-axis… 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 This is a misleading… See the same slide without zooming in on 1997
  31. 31. Average Weekly Church Attendance As Fraction of Adult Population 100 0 10 20 30 50 70 80 90 40 60 1940 1943 1946 1949 1952 1955 1958 1961 1964 Attendance, 1940-1999 1967 1970 1973 Figure 13: Trends in Church 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 Reported church attendance hasn’t declined much at all… 1994 1997
  32. 32. Religious Beliefs Claims that beliefs are not reflecting the same declines  P. 69 “Measured by the yardstick of personal beliefs, Americans’ religious  commitment has been reasonably stable over the last half-century – certainly much more so than one might assume from some public commentary about the secularization of American life. Virtually all Americans say they believe in God…” Simply inaccurate (see ARIS 2008)  80 69.5 70 60 50 40 30 20 12.1 5.7 5.3 4.3 10 2.3 0.8 0 There is no There is no I'm not There is a There is Don't know Refused such thing. way to sure higher definitely a know power but personal no God personal God
  33. 33. Declines in Religiosity P. 75 “The result is that the country is becoming ever  more clearly divided into two groups – the devoutly observant and the entirely unchurched… This is the sociological substratum that underlies the much discussed “culture wars” of recent years.” Some evidence for this  Implications? 
  34. 34. Chapter 5: Connections in the Workplace How many belong to a union?  How many would join a union?  What about work-related sports team?  Other work-related groups?  Work-related groups are also on the decline  Clearest illustration is union membership  Putnam suggests it is not due to “virulent employer  resistance, flaccid union strategy” etc. but rather to people not wanting to join unions Why, in light of Marx, might people not want to join  unions? What have corporations done to prevent this?
  35. 35. Percent of Nonagricultural Labor Force 0 5 10 15 20 25 35 30 1900 1904 1908 1912 1916 1920 States, 1900-1998 1924 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 Figure 14: Union Membership in the United 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1997
  36. 36. Figure 15: Average Membership Rate in Eight National Professional Associations, 1900-1997 membership rate mean membership 1908 1900 1904 1912 1916 1920 1924 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1997
  37. 37. Organic Solidarity What about workplace friends?  How many of your friends are people with whom you  work? Have workplaces become the institutions of social  solidarity advocated by Durkheim to provide social capital? Job satisfaction is down  When asked, “Which do you enjoy more, the hours when  you are on your job, or the hours when you are not on your job?” 1955 – 44% said on the job; 1999 – 16% said on the job 
  38. 38. Chapter 6: Informal Social Connections Machers – individuals who invest lots of time in  formal organizations Tend to follow current events, attend meetings, participate  in clubs, give to charity, read the paper, follow politics, etc. Tend to be better educated and have higher incomes;  also tend to be older and more likely to be married; long time residents and homeowners Schmoozers – individuals who spend lots of time in  informal conversation Tend to host people, hang out with friends, play  cards, frequent bars, and send greeting cards; tend to be younger, more frequent movers; women are more likely to be schmoozers Tend to overlap, but not necessarily 
  39. 39. Informal Social Connections The amount of time spent with other people is also  on the decline Part of this is due to density of social networks being  lower in cities than in rural areas; city dwellers know fewer neighbors than country dwellers
  40. 40. Figure 16: Social and Leisure Activities of American Adults (1986-1990) % of Adults Who Engaged in Given Activity 100 at Least Once in the Past Month 80 60 40 20 0
  41. 41. Figure 17: Frequency of Selected Formal and Informal Social Activities, 1975-1998 Wrote Letter to the Editor Played Team Sport worked on Community Project Attended Sporting Event Went to Movies Gave or Attended Dinner party Went to Bar or Tavern Attended a Club Meeting Played Cards Entertained at Home Wrote Letter to Friend or Relative Sent Greeting Card Ate Dinner at a Restaurant Visited Relatives Attended Church Services 0 5 10 15 20 25 Average Number of Times per year
  42. 42. Average Times Entertained at Home Last Year 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1999 – Entertained at Home Last Year 1996 1997 Figure 18a: Social Visiting Declines, 1975- 1998 1999
  43. 43. Figure 18b: Social Visiting Declines, 1975- 1999 60 50 40 30 Have friends in for Evening at Least 20 Twice a Month Went to Home of 10 Friends during Past Week 0 1993 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  44. 44. Figure 19: Family Dinners Become Less Common, 1977-1999 60 Definitely Agree Generally or Moderately Agree 50 Disagree 40 30 20 10 0 1991 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  45. 45. Family Time 60 50 40 30 1976 20 1997 10 0 vacationing watching TV attending just sitting together together religious and talking services together together
  46. 46. Figure 20: Bars, Restaurants, and Luncheonettes Give Way to Fast Food, 1970-1998 200 Other Eating and 180 Drinking Outlets 160 Coffee Bars/Shops 140 120 Bars and Taverns 100 Restaurants 80 60 Luncheonettes 40 Fast Food 20 0 Implications for social 1970 1980 1990 1998 capital?
  47. 47. Packs of Playing Cards Sold Annually per 100 Americans Aged 14 and Over 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 1951 1900 1902 1904 1906 1908 1910 1912 1914 1916 1918 1920 1922 1924 1926 1928 1930 1932 1934 1936 1938 1940 1942 1944 1946 1948 1950 Figure 21: The Rise of Card Games in America, 1900-
  48. 48. Figure 22: Card Playing and Other Leisure Activities, 1975-1999 18 Played Cards 16 Attended Movie 14 Mean Times per Year Played Home Video Game 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1978 1983 1975 1976 1977 1979 1980 1981 1982 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  49. 49. Percentage Who “Spend a Social Evening with Someone Who Lives in your Neighborhood… About Once a Month” or More Often 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 Single 1985 Neighboring, 1974-1998 Figure 23: The Decline of 1986 1987 1988 Married 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  50. 50. Figure 25: Stagnation in Fitness (Except Walking) 14 Walked for Exercise 12 Attended Exercise Average Times per Year Classes Attended Health Club 10 8 6 4 2 0 1978 1983 1975 1976 1977 1979 1980 1981 1982 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  51. 51. Rise and Decline of League Bowling
  52. 52. Figure 27: The Growth of Spectator Sports, 1960-1997 800 Attendance at Major Sporting Events 700 600 per 1,000 Population 500 400 300 Total live attendance (standardized for total U.S. 200 population) at all NCAA football and basketball games, all Major League 100 baseball, football, basketball, and hockey games, and NASCAR auto races. 0 1976 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996
  53. 53. Informal Social Connections Time diaries support the declines in time spent  schmoozing 65% spent time schmoozing in 1965 every day; 39% did  in 1995 Average daily time devoted to schmoozing fell from 85  minutes in 1965 to 57 minutes in 1995 Americans are also spending less time DOING  sports, but more time watching Exception may be bowling…  Ironically, nobody “bowls alone”, though bowling alleys are  adding TVs Good thing? Bad thing?  We also spend more time observing (museums) and  less time doing (church) Good thing? Bad thing? 
  54. 54. Chapter 7: Altruism, Volunteering, and Philanthropy People who are involved in social groups are more likely  to give money and volunteer for charities P. 117 “As Andrew Carnegie, one of the new millionaires  who emerged from the period of rapid growth following the Civil War, proclaimed in his 1889 essay “The Gospel of Wealth,” wealth was a sacred trust which its possessor was bound to administer for the good of the community.” What does this suggest?  A divine right to wealth; that this is how the social order should be.  By 1995 – 654,186 public charities in the US (not  churches) ½ of Americans engage in volunteer work  $143.5 billion donated in 1997  74% donate money; 35% donate time; 23% donate blood 
  55. 55. Altruism, Volunteering and Philanthropy Do the wealthy give more than the poor?  In absolute numbers, yes  As a percentage of their wealth, no.  In 1996 - 73% of members of secular organizations and  55% of members of religious groups volunteered Of those with no group memberships, only 19% volunteered  In 1996 – 87% of members of secular organizations and  76% of religious organizations donated to charity Of those with no group memberships, only 37% donated  People involved with religious organizations tend to  volunteer within their organization, whereas people involved in secular groups tend to volunteer in the community Joiners are nearly ten times more generous with their  time and money than are nonjoiners
  56. 56. Figure 28: Volunteering Fostered by Clubgoing and Churchgoing Mean Times Volunteering per Year 18 16 14 12 Club Attendance 10 8 6 4 Monthly or More 2 Less Than Monthly 0 Never Monthly Less or More Never Than Monthly Church Attendance
  57. 57. Figure 29: Schmoozing and Good Works 12 Worked on Community Project Times per Year Volunteered or 10 Volunteered 8 6 4 2 0 None 1-4 5-8 9-11 12-24 25-51 53 or Times Times Times Times Times More Times How Many Times in the Past Year Did You Entertain Friends at Home
  58. 58. Figure 30: Blood Donation Fostered by Clubgoing and Churchgoing What Fraction of Each Category Are 15.2 14.5 16 Attends Club Meetings at Least 13.8 Regular Blood Donors? 14 12 10.8 10 Monthly? 8 6 4 Yes 2 0 No Yes No Attends Church at Least Twice Monthly? This is another misleading graph in the book… Here’s how it looks in the book…
  59. 59. He changed the scale on the left to accentuate the difference – look back at the previous slide to compare
  60. 60. Altruism, Volunteering and Philanthropy over time People are giving more now than in the past, even  when adjusted for inflation 1960 - $280 per capita; 1995 - $522 per capita  But people are giving less of their personal income  as a percentage 1964 – 2.26% of income; 1.61% in 1998 
  61. 61. Figure 33: Reported Charitable Giving Declined in the 1980s and 1990s 60 50 40 30 20 Give to Religious Organizations at Least Occasionally Contributed to Charity in 10 Last Month 0
  62. 62. Figure 34: Volunteering Up, Community Projects Down, 1975-1999 9 8 7 Times Last Year 6 5 Volunteered 4 Worked on Community Project 3 2 1 0 Tricky issue here: 1990 1992 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1991 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 People have redefined volunteering to include doing personal favors for other people
  63. 63. Figure 35: Trends in Volunteering by Age Category, 1975-1998 Over 75 71-75 66-70 61-65 56-60 Those doing the 51-55 volunteering are 46-50 older 41-45 36-40 31-35 26-30 25 or Less -50 0 50 100 150 200 Percent Change, 1975-98
  64. 64. Figure 36: Trends in Participation in Community Projects by Age Category, 1975-1998 Over 75 71-75 66-70 61-65 56-60 51-55 46-50 41-45 36-40 31-35 26-30 25 or Less -80 -70 -60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 Percent Change, 1975-98 Why are the elderly doing most of the volunteering?
  65. 65. Chapter 8: Reciprocity, Honesty, and Trust Touchstone of social capital is generalized reciprocity –  golden rule Generally being able to trust people improves health and  reduces stress Why?  Examples of how not trusting people causes stress?  Tit for Tat  Respond in kind  Tit for Two Tats  Respond in kind with extra generosity  People who trust are better citizens and more involved.  Why are city-dwellers less trusting than non city-  dwellers?
  66. 66. Figure 37: Declining Perceptions of Honesty and Morality, 1952-1998 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1952 1965 1976 1998 Do You Think People in General Today Lead as Good Lives – Honest and Moral – as They Used To?
  67. 67. Percent Who Say “Most People Can Be Trusted” Instead of “You Can’t Be Too Careful in Dealing with People” 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 Average) 1978 1980 Adults (Multi-Survey High School Students 1982 1984 1986 Adults and Teenagers, 1960-1999 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 Figure 38: Four Decades of Dwindling Trust:
  68. 68. Figure 39: Generational Succession Explains most of the Decline in Social Trust 90 Agree “Most People Are Honest” 80 70 60 50 40 Born before 930 30 Born 1930-1945 Born 1946-1960 20 Born after 1960 10 0 1978 1983 1975 1976 1977 1979 1980 1981 1982 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  69. 69. Decline in Trust Thick trust may be the same – the close trust with friends  What do you think? Can you still trust your closest  friends/acquaintances? Thin trust – generalized reciprocity – may be declining  Are you less likely to trust a store employee?  What about picking up a hitchhiker or stopping to help  someone? How many of you do that? Is this a decline in thin trust?  P. 142 “People under forty-five are twice as likely to screen  calls as those over sixty-five, who are more trusting and more civically inclined. Superficially one might respond that technological development enabled all these changes, but those technologies themselves were surely a response to market demand.” I’m not sure I buy this. I screen my calls because it comes with my  phone, not because I want to. I basically answer every call that comes in.
  70. 70. Fraction of Drivers 100 0 10 20 40 50 60 70 80 90 30 1979 1980 Stop Signs 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 No Stop Full Stop 1996 Rolling Stop Figure 40: The Changing Observance of 1997 1998 1999
  71. 71. Implications?
  72. 72. What does this suggest?
  73. 73. Chapter 9: Against the Tide? Small Groups, Social Movements, and the Net There may be some movement against the decline in  social capital Self help groups – 2% of all US adults involved in some  sort of group; lifetime usage is 3% (not a lot, but something) Social movement activism is a way to strengthen social  capital How many are involved in a social movement? How many  have protested something? Anything? Too young to have been involved in the Civil Rights  Movement or Women’s Rights (ERA); what about environmental movements? Anyone? Even if people are involved in the environmentalist  movement, most are members, not activists – send money, don’t give time Many of these groups allocate 20%-30% of funds to fund-  raising and advertising Lots of dropping out 
  74. 74. Members per 1,000 Adult Population 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 Figure 43: Explosive Growth of National 1994 Environmental Organizations, 1960-1998 1996 1998
  75. 75. New vs. Old Groups Members of older groups are more likely to stay  Why?  They are part of a community, not just a member of a mailing list  Many of the mailing list members don’t consider themselves  members, just donors. This is a little different for the Christian Right (Moral  Majority) They did seem to be more united, but they have fallen apart in  recent years Ralph Reed was involved in fund-raising scandals; Jerry  Falwell is dead; Pat Robertson has alienated moderates Even so, evangelicals are very involved politically (though this  is beginning to change) What about the growth of initiatives on statewide ballots?  Mostly in 5 states and primarily driven by professional firms  People don’t pay attention to what the ballots are… 
  76. 76. Number in Each Biennium 100 120 0 20 40 60 80 1900 1904 1908 1912 1916 1920 1924 1928 1932 the US, 1900-1998 1936 1940 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 Figure 44: Initiatives on Statewide Ballots in 2000
  77. 77. Figure 45: The Graying of Protest Demonstrations 25 20 Participation in Protest Demonstrations 15 10 Age 30-59 5 Age under 30 Age over 59 0
  78. 78. One Possible Reversal - Technology Technology may have the power to increase social  capital The telephone allows people to remain in contact and  develop social networks It’s widespread  It appears to reduce loneliness, but also reduce face-to-  face socializing Good thing? Bad thing?  Actually seems to reinforce local ties over long-distance  ties as people call neighbors more often than people far away 40% to 50% of all phone calls are within a 2 mile radius  Transformed but didn’t replace local social networks  Think this has changed with free long distance? How many of  you even think about long distance calls anymore?
  79. 79. Figure 46b: Trends in long-Distance Personal Phone Calls and Letters 6 5 4 3 2 Mean Number of Phone Calls in past Month to Friends or Relatives Over 100 Miles Away 1 Mean Number of Personal Letters in Past Month to Friends and Relatives 0 1984 1986 1988 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1985 1987 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
  80. 80. Virtual Social Capital The book obviously predates social networking sites (a.k.a. social  capital sites) Do these sites create, maintain, or transform social networks?  Did he not foresee the potential transformation of social networks  online? Facebook has 200 million users  Other sites have hundreds of millions as well  (MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, etc.) Can you have legitimate social networks through a website?  I’m co-authoring a paper right now with 2 people I’ve never met in person  – just through the internet Do you behave differently online? Are you less respecting of  peoples’ social status? (flatter hierarchies) Might the internet simply reinforce social capital networks and  inequalities? Where do you spend your time online? With whom?  Is it just making previously active groups more active? 
  81. 81. Section III: Why?
  82. 82. Chapter 10: Introduction If education increases civic engagement,  And educational attainment has increased over the  last 40 years, Then why hasn’t civic engagement gone up?  educational attainment in years 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
  83. 83. Chapter 11: Pressures of Time and Money What about being too busy?  Do you think you’re too busy to participate in all of the  activities we’ve talking about? People say they feel busier and more rushed now  than in the 1960s Most people say they work hard most of the time and  we’re more likely to say we stay late at work The most harried:  Full-time workers, women, people between 25 and  54, parents of younger children, single parents What about job insecurity, declining real wages, and  growing economic inequality?
  84. 84. Are we working longer? On average, we’re working about the same number of  hours But we actually have more leisure time, primarily thanks  to time-saving devices (dishwashers, washers and dryers, ovens, microwaves, etc.); about 6.2 hours more per week (more for men than women) But “average” does not mean “universal”  People with more education are working more hours  The “average” includes men taking early retirement  Dual earner couples spent about 14 hours more at work per  week in 1998 than they did in 1969 Thus, it’s precisely the people who used to contribute the  most time to social capital activities who are working more hours; especially women
  85. 85. Other Time Issues Busy people tend to forego TV watching – no time  for TV either Despite feeling like they have less time, involvement  has dropped across groups, including among those who have more time This suggests that it isn’t a time issue that explains  the decline in social activity, though it may contribute
  86. 86. Money? People are under more pressure today than they used to be to  make money: No social safety net  Men don’t make as much as they used to  Economy is more volatile  People don’t feel as financially secure  74% said “our family income is high enough to satisfy nearly all  our important desires” in 1974; dropped to 61% in 1999 When people are worried about money, they don’t spend it on  social activities (e.g., movies, etc.) Though they do watch TV; the only leisure activity positively  correlated with financial anxiety is watching TV However, the decline in social activity has been linear while  financial security has gone up and down. Probably not a money issue. 
  87. 87. Women in the Paid Labor Force? Number of women working outside the home in the  1950s was less than 30% By the 1990s it was more than 67%  Does this translate into less social activity?  Working full-time (after controlling for  age, education, financial security, marital and parental status), leads to: 10% less home entertaining  15% less club and church attendance  25% less informal visiting with friends  50% less volunteering  Husbands of wives who work full time are also less  likely to do these activities
  88. 88. Figure 47: Working by Choice and by Necessity Among American Women, 1978-1999 Percentage of All Women 29 35 31 30 25 20 10 11 15 11 8 10 5 Satisfaction 0 Necessity (Kids/Money) Why are women working outside the Virtually all the increase in full-time employment of home? American women over the last twenty years is attributable to financial pressures, not personal fulfillment.
  89. 89. Figure 48: More Women Work Because They Must, 1978-1999 40 Work Full-time for Financial Reasons 35 Percentage of All Women Work Full-time for Personal Satisfaction 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1979 1998 1975 1976 1977 1978 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1999 2000
  90. 90. Figure 49: Working Full-Time Reduces Community Involvement Club Meetings per Year (Compared with all Men) Women who work full- time because they 3.5 have to are the least 3 involved. 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 Satisfaction 0 Necessity (Kids/Money) One practical way to increase community engagement in America would be to make it easier for women (and men too) to work part-time if they wished.
  91. 91. Chapter 12: Mobility and Sprawl Residential stability is strongly associated with civic  engagement Why?  People who have recently moved into an area are:  Less likely to vote, have supportive networks of friends  and neighbors, belong to civic organizations, attend church, attend club meetings, volunteer, or work on community projects Could the declines in civic engagement be due to  rising mobility? Simple answer: No. Mobility hasn’t increased over  the last 50 years. It’s actually declined.
  92. 92. Rural vs. Urban What about where you live?  Are people who live in urban areas less likely to be  involved? Why might that be the case?  It’s not who you are but where you are.  And more people live in urban areas now than they  used to.
  93. 93. Figure 50: Community Involvement Is Lower in Major Metropolitan Areas Central City 1 Million and Over Served as Officer or Committee Suburb of City 1 Million and Over Member of Local Group Central City of 250,000 to 1 Million Attended a Public Suburb of City 250,000 to 1 Meeting on Town Million or School Affairs Central City of 50,000 to 250,000 Suburb of City 50,000 to 250,000 Town of 10,000 to 50,000 Rural and Towns under 10,000 0 5 10 15 20 25 Percentage of Population Active in Last Year
  94. 94. Figure 51: Church Attendance Is Lower in Major Metropolitan Areas Metro Area More than 2 Million Central City Metro Area More than 2 Million Noncentral City Metro Area 500,000 - 2 Million Central City Metro Area 500,000 - 2 Million Noncentral City Metro Area 50,000-500,000 Central City Metro Area 50,000-500,00 Noncentral City Rural and Towns Less than 50,000 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Church Attendance per Year
  95. 95. Faction of Total Population 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1950 1952 1954 1956 1958 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 America, 1950-1996 1970 1972 1974 Suburb 1976 Nonmetro Central City 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 Figure 52: The Suburbanization of 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000
  96. 96. Mobility and Sprawl What about within gated communities; is there more  civic engagement? Evidence suggests that exclusive, homogenous gated  communities aren’t all that involved, civically. Why? Nothing to get people riled up.  What about commuting?  Average American spends 72 minutes per day behind the  wheel Does that eat into civic engagement time?  Each additional ten minutes in daily commuting time cuts  involvement in community affairs by 10%.
  97. 97. Chapter 13: Technology and Mass Media The primary question in this chapter is whether  technology and mass media have led to a decline in civic engagement First you have to establish the widespread adoption  of mass media…
  98. 98. Table 2: Pace of Introduction of Selected Consumer Goods Technological Household Penetration Years to Reach 75 Percent Invention Begins (1 Percent) of American Households Telephone 1890 67 Automobile 1908 52 Vacuum cleaner 1913 48 Air conditioner 1952 ~48 Refrigerator 1925 23 Radio 1923 14 VCR 1980 12 Television 1948 7 Not included is internet access – about 75% of US homes have internet access. Basically, most people in the US are exposed to mass media.
  99. 99. Figure 53: Generational Succession Explains the Demise of newspapers 90 80 Read Newspaper Daily 70 60 50 40 30 Born before 1929 20 Born 1929-1945 Born 1946-1960 10 Born after 1960 0 Fewer people are reading newspapers, but those who do are more civically engaged, even after controlling for age, education, and rootedness.
  100. 100. Figure 54: Newshounds Are a Vanishing Breed 80 Agree “I Need to Get the News Every Day” Percentage Who “Definitely” or “Generally” 70 60 50 40 30 20 Born before 1929 Born 1929-1945 10 Born 1946-1960 Born after 1960 0 How many of you qualify as “newshounds”?
  101. 101. Television We’ve already discussed how many watch TV, but what  is the problem with it? Pervasive and addictive  Another interesting issue – TV news isn’t necessarily  “news” – often includes advertisements as well (see Today show clip from April 18th, 2009)  Watching TV increases materialist attitudes – people want  more when they watch more TV It was rapidly adopted in the US:  1950 -10% had TVs  1959 - 90% had TVs  Average American watches 4 hours per day (maybe a  little less); still consumes about 40% of American’s free time
  102. 102. Average Daily Household Viewing (Hours) 0 2 3 4 5 7 8 1 6 1950 1952 1954 1956 1958 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 Television Watching, 1950-1998 1986 1988 1990 Figure 55: A Half Century’s Growth in 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000
  103. 103. Figure 56: Screens Proliferate in American Homes: VCRs, PCs, Extra TV Sets, and the Net, 1970-1999
  104. 104. Figure 57: TV Becomes an American Habit, as Selective Viewing Declines 80 70 60 50 I Have the TV on Only If I'm actually Watching It 40 I Turn the TV on Only If I 30 Want to Watch a Specific Program 20 10 Habitual viewing is as 0 detrimental to civic engagement as is watching TV at all (turning 1979 1985 1989 1993 it on in the background)
  105. 105. Figure 58: Channel Surfing Is More Common Among Younger Generations Fraction Who are Channel Surfers 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1909-1945 1946-1964 1965-1980 Channel surfers watch more TV; more habitual viewers
  106. 106. Figure 59: America Watches TV All Day Every Day 90 Adults Watching Television 80 70 60 50 40 Just Background 30 Mainly Entertainment 20 Mainly Information 10 0
  107. 107. Figure 60: In the Evening Americans, Above All, Watch TV 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Which of These Things Do You Do Most Weeknights after Your Evening Meal and before Bedtime?
  108. 108. Figure 61: More TV Means Less Civic Engagement (Among College-Educated, Working-Age Adults)
  109. 109. Figure 62: TV Watching and Volunteering Don’t Go Together 10 Volunteered (Times Last Year) 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Definitely Generally Moderately Moderately Generally Definitely Disagree Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree TV Is My Primary Form of Entertainment
  110. 110. Figure 63: TV Watchers Don’t Keep in Touch 20 Friends and Relatives Last Year Number of Letters Written to 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Definitely Generally Moderately Moderately Generally Definitely Disagree Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree TV Is My Primary Form of Entertainment
  111. 111. Figure 64: TV Watching and Club Meetings Don’t Go Together 10 9 Club Meetings Last Year 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Definitely Generally Moderately Moderately Generally Definitely Disagree Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree TV Is My Primary Form of Entertainment
  112. 112. Figure 65: TV Watching and Churchgoing Don’t Go Together 30 Annual Church Attendance 25 20 15 10 5 0 Definitely Generally Moderately Moderately Generally Definitely Disagree Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree TV Is My Primary Form of Entertainment
  113. 113. Figure 66: TV Watching and Comity Don’t Go Together 3.5 3 Mean Times Last Year 2.5 2 1.5 1 Gave Finger to Another Driver 0.5 Worked on Community Project 0 Definitely Generally Moderately Moderately Generally Definitely Disagree Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree TV Is My Primary Form of Entertainment
  114. 114. Television and Civic Engagement How does television so substantially reduce civic  engagement? Competes for scarce time  Has psychological effects that inhibit social participation  Programmatic content on television undermines civic  motivations TV viewers are anchored at home and are  “homebodies” One hour less viewing TV is the equivalent of five or  six more years of education on civic engagement Can be addictive; people are unwilling to give it up  This is despite the fact that it is less satisfying than  other activities, including work!
  115. 115. Figure 67: Americans Began Cocooning in the 1970s Going out to Places of Public Entertainment Visiting with Friends or Relatives Who Do Not Live Nearby Eating out at Restaurants Entertaining Friends at Home Visiting with Friends or Relatives Who Live Quite Nearby Reading Books Watching TV Spending Time at home -40 -20 0 20 40 60 Which of These Activities Are You Doing More Now than You Used To? Which Are you Doing Less Now than You Used To?
  116. 116. Figure 68: TV Watchers Don’t Feel So Great 45 headaches, Indigestion, and 40 Rank High on Reported 35 30 Sleeplessness 25 20 15 10 5 0 TV Is My Primary Form of Entertainment Why so much TV? Not it’s pleasures but its minimal costs…
  117. 117. Figure 69: Types of Television Programs and Civic Engagement, Controlling for Time Spent Watching TV 0.4 Probability of at Least One Civic 0.35 0.3 0.25 Activity 0.2 0.15 News Programs 0.1 Daytime Television 0.05 0 Does the type of TV you watch matter?
  118. 118. Chapter 14: From Generation to Generation So, TV is a culprit…  But, even those who don’t watch much TV are less likely  to be civically engaged This suggest something else, like inter-generational  decline While this is, in a sense, an explanation, isn’t it just moving the  explanation one step back? What caused the change in younger generations?  Until you explain this, all you’ve done is pushed it back one step  So, the real question is: Why the decline between  generations? Something Decline in civic causes decline engagement ???? Something Intergeneration Decline in civic causes decline al decline engagement ????
  119. 119. Figure 70: Membership in Associations Rises and Falls with Age
  120. 120. Table 3. All Forms of Civic Disengagement Are Concentrated in Younger Cohorts activities Years 18- 30-44 45- 60+ 29 59 1972-75 49% 72% 78% 76 % Read newspaper daily 1996-98 21% 34% 53% 69 % Relative change -57 -52 -31 -10 1973-74 36% 43% 47% 48 % Attend church weekly 1997-98 25% 32% 37% 47 % Relative change -30 -25 -22 -3 1973-74 42% 42% 34% 22 % Signed petition 1993-94 23% 30% 31% 22
  121. 121. Table 3. All Forms of Civic Disengagement Are Concentrated in Younger Cohorts Activities Years 18- 30-44 45- 60+ 29 59 1973-74 15% 18% 19% 10 % Union member 1993-94 5% 10% 13% 6% Relative change -64 -41 -32 -42 1973-74 19% 34% 23% 10 % Attended public meeting 1993-94 8% 17% 15% 8% Relative change -57 -50 -34 -21 1973-74 13% 19% 19% 14 % Wrote congressman 1993-94 7% 12% 14% 12 %
  122. 122. Table 3. All Forms of Civic Disengagement Are Concentrated in Younger Cohorts Activities Years 18- 30-44 45- 60+ 29 59 1973-74 13% 21% 17% 10 Officer or committee member of local % organization 1993-94 6% 10% 10% 8% Relative change -53 -53 -41 -24 1973-74 6% 6% 5% 4% Wrote letter to newspaper 1993-94 3% 5% 5% 4% Relative change -49 -18 -9 -4 1973-74 5% 7% 7% 5% Worked for political party 1993-94 2% 3% 4% 3% Relative change -64 -59 -49 -36
  123. 123. Table 3. All Forms of Civic Disengagement Are Concentrated in Younger Cohorts Activities Years 18- 30-44 45- 60+ 29 59 1973-74 .6% 1.5% .9% .6% Ran for or held public office 1993-94 .3% .8% .8% .5% Relative change -43 -49 -8 -22 1973-74 56% 61% 54% 37 % Took part in any of twelve different forms of civic life* 1993-94 31% 42% 42% 33 % Relative change -44 -31 -22 -11 *Wrote Congress, wrote letter to editor, wrote magazine article, gave speech, attended rally, attended public meeting, worked for political party, served as officer or as committee member of local organization, signed petition, ran for office, and/or belonged to good-government organization.
  124. 124. Figure 71a: Generational Trends in Civic Engagement (Education Held Constant) The Post Civic Generatio n The Long Civic Generation
  125. 125. Figure 71b: Generational Trends in Civic Engagement (Education Held Constant) The Post Civic Generatio n The Long Civic Generation The question is: What is it about this generation that increased and maintained their civic engagement?
  126. 126. Other characteristics of disengagers… Baby boomers disengaged from political life  But also were:  Slow to marry and quick to divorce  More likely to leave religions  Good? Bad? Less loyal to particular companies  Less comfortable in bureaucracies  Greater emphasis on individualism and tolerance for diversity  Less respect for authority, religion, and patriotism  More self-centered  More materialistic  More comfortable on their own  Less moralistic about drug use  More open-minded about race, sex, and political minorities 
  127. 127. Baby Boomers vs. Generation X Is the decline in civic engagement the fault of baby  boomers (1946-1964) or of Generation X (1965-1980)? What about Generation Y (1980~2000)?  Coming with these declines are:  Increases in depression and suicide  Depression strikers earlier and more pervasively in each  generation since the 1940s Born before 1955 – 1% suffered depression by 75  Born after 1955 – 6% suffered depression by 24  Between 1950 and 1995 suicide rate among 15-19 year olds  more than quadrupled; tripled for young adults just older Sound familiar?  Durkheim and social connectedness anyone?  Typical American teenager spends 3.5 hours alone every day;  fewer friends; more fluid friendships
  128. 128. Figure 72: Greed Trumps Community Among College Freshmen, 1966-1998 How would you respond?
  129. 129. Figure 73: Age-Related Differences in Suicide Rates, 1950-1995
  130. 130. Figure 74: Growing Generation Gap in Malaise (Headaches, Insomnia, Indigestion)
  131. 131. Limitations of This Explanation The following are almost entirely attributable to  generational changes: Church attendance, voting, political interest, campaign  activities, associational membership, and social trust Schmoozing activities are not generational: they  have declined in all age groups Card playing, dinners with friends, club meetings, dining  with family, neighboring, bowling, picnicking, visiting with friends, and sending greeting cards
  132. 132. What lies behind the changes? So, generational declines exist  But what causes them?  P. 268 “Of men born in the 1920s, nearly 80% served in the  military.” Could this be an ingroup/outgroup solidarity issue?  Having put your life on the line for your ingroup, you value them  more? Advertising and the media encouraged solidarity (recycling steel  and rubber for the war effort; buying war bonds) When was the last time you saw the media encourage solidarity? (Iraq?)  Being united behind a common cause leads to greater social  solidarity and more civic engagement. But extended periods of conflict with an outgroup can lead to  backlashes Do we have a common cause in the US today? Do we have  anything to bring people together? What might do this?  How can YOU change the world? 
  133. 133. Figure 75: From Generation to Generation, Patriotism Wanes, Materialism Waxes 90 80 Say Value Is “Very Important” 70 60 Born before 1934 50 Born 1934-1948 40 Born 1949-1968 30 Born after 1968 20 10 0 Patriotism Money Self-fulfillment
  134. 134. Figure 76: Materialism Grows in the Final Decades of the Twentieth Century 90 Percent of Adults naming Value As part of “the Good Life” 80 Happy Marriage 70 Children 60 Material Luxuries 50 A Lot of Money 40 Job That contributes to Society 30 2 per. Mov. Avg. (Job That contributes to Society) 20 10 0
  135. 135. Figure 77: The Meaning of Community for Successive Generations
  136. 136. Chapter 15: What Killed Civic Engagement? Summing Up Another possible explanation – high divorce rates  and decline in nuclear family P. 278 “Americans who are married and those with  children are much more likely to be involved in religious activities, including church membership, church attendance, and church-related social activities.” However, divorce is unrelated to civic engagement  No direct evidence for declining nuclear family  leading to less civic engagement Maybe a cause for concern for other reasons, but not for  civic engagement
  137. 137. Other causes? Not racial progress  Not big government  Globalization?  Maybe, but not a direct link between globalization and  hanging out with friends
  138. 138. Figure 78: Government Spending, 1947-1998: State and Local Government Up, National Defense Down
  139. 139. Figure 79: Guesstimated Explanation for Civic Disengagement, 1965-2000 Work 10% Sprawl Generational 10% Change 38% Other? 17% TV Generation TV 13% 12%

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