Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Discussion 1/27

"Networks and the associated norms of reciprocity are generally good for those inside the network, but the external effects of social capital are by no means always positive." 
Bowling Alone, p 21.

I found this sentence to be important because it brought to attention the flip side of community involvement. Groups, organizations, etc,  by design, create an in-group, which inevitably also creates an out-group. The out-group is defined as being the people who are not associated with the organizations. The networks that form between people involved in community activities give them a leg up in situations like running for school board or gaining support for an initiative they want passed. This seems especially is likely in old communities, where it's possible that active community members went to grade school together. The newcomers or those who do not have the time to be involved could lose out. 

1 comment:

  1. Good point, Karen. Maybe this has to do with the whole WD-40 vs. Superglue analogy, as well?