Cover image for Social capital : critical perspectives on community and "Bowling alone"
Social capital : critical perspectives on community and "Bowling alone"
McLean, Scott L.
Publication Information:
New York : New York University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 295 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction / Scott L. McLean, David A. Schultz, Manfred B. Steger -- Tocquevillean traditions and the study of civil society. The strange disappearance of Alexis de Tocqueville in Putnam's "Analysis of social capital" / Amy Fried. Equality, democracy, and community from Tocqueville to Putnam / John Ehrenberg. The phenomenology of democracy : Putnam, pluralism, and voluntary associations / David A. Schultz. Post-liberal civil society and the worlds of neo-Tocquevillean social theory / Michael J. Shapiro -- Historical perspectives on social capital. Liberty, equality, and-- social capital? / Stephen Samuel Smith and Jessica Kulynych. Patriotism, generational change, and the politics of sacrifice / Scott L. McLean. Social capital : the politics of race and gender / R. Claire Snyder. Social capital as political fantasy / Carl Boggs -- Social engagement in practice : local, national, and global contexts. Social capital, civic engagement, and the importance of context / Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh. Building social capital on the street : leadership in communities / Lane Crothers. Social rights or social capital? : the labor movement and the language of capital / Michael Forman -- Robert Putnam, social capital, and a suspect named globalization / Manfred B. Steger. Afterword / Scott L. McLean.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HN65 .S567 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"Social Capital is an important crtique that should stimulate further analysis and dicussion of what constitutes community."
-- New Political Science

"The reader emerges with a good sense of the gaps in Putnam's work- or more appropriately in the context of this book, the way in which the 'feelgood' factor of Putnam's work deserves critical analysis."
--Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations

This collection tackles the theme of isolation and the breakdown of mediating social institutions. It is, in part, a response to Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone as well as an attempt to create a broader idea of civil society. These original essays contribute to the examination of democratic theory and practice, exploring one of the most popular causes of this decline in public trust--social capital.

These critical essays are written by specialists and scholars in American politics and American political thought. They utilize diverse methodologies--empirical and philosophical--and multiple perspectives to examine critically the social capital discourse and how it is related to political participation, civic engagement, and American democracy.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In 2000, political scientist Robert D. Putnam received much scholarly and public attention for his study Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (CH, Dec'00). He contended that the second half of the 20th century had witnessed a measurable decline in the number and density of human interactions and memberships. Such disengagement, according to Putnam, had contributed not only to the demise of a wide variety of community organizations, but also to a general decline of citizen involvement in politics. In short, Putnam claimed there had been a decline in this "social capital." The dozen original, scholarly essays in the current book provide critical perspectives on issues raised by Putnam's interpretation. Several of the contributors (e.g., Shapiro and Schultz) respond to the importance Putnam attached to civil society and voluntary associations in Bowling Alone. Others (Alex-Assensoh, Crothers, Forman, Stegers) focus on Putnam's failure to examine diverse local or global implications of his studies or alternative models for national data. These essays provide an excellent critical, scholarly follow-up to Bowling Alone. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. For specialists in the political and social sciences. C. K. Piehl Minnesota State University, Mankato