Sunday, February 1, 2009

MIS: Putnam, Bowling Alone

"Debates about the waxing and waning of "community" have been endemic for at least two centuries. "Declensionist naratives? -postmodernist jargon for tales of decline and fall-have a long pedigree in our letters. We seem perenially tempted to contrast our tawdry todays with past golden ages. We apparently share this nostalgic predilection with the rest of humanity."

This reading interested me because he argues for a cycle of involvement and feelings of community rather than just a decline. It also interested me because I noticed the same general decline as well. The evidence that I have comes both from what I hear from my parents and from first hand experience. When my family gets together for holidays, my Dad, his brothers and sisters, and his parents often reminisce about the good times they had with the family down the street or the guy that owned the local barbershop. They could all remember names of various people from around town, from church, and down the street. When I started to think about it, I see very few things like that in my own experience.

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