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📒Bowling Alone ✍ Robert D. Putnam
📝Bowling Alone Book Synopsis : Shows how changes in work, family structure, women's roles, and other factors have caused people to become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and democratic structures--and how they may reconnect.
📒Virtual Communities ✍ Felicia Wu Song
📝Virtual Communities Book Synopsis : Does contemporary Internet technology strengthen civic engagement and democratic practice? The recent surge in online community participation has become a cultural phenomenon enmeshed in ongoing debates about the health of American civil society. But observations about online communities often concentrate on ascertaining the true nature of community and democracy, typically rehearsing familiar communitarian and liberal perspectives. This book seeks to understand the technology on its own terms, focusing on how the technological and organizational configurations of online communities frame our contemporary beliefs and assumptions about community and the individual. It analyzes key structural features of thirty award-winning online community websites to show that while the values of individual autonomy, egalitarianism, and freedom of speech dominate the discursive content of these communities, the practical realities of online life are clearly marked by exclusivity and the demands of commercialization and corporate surveillance. Promises of social empowerment are framed within consumer and therapeutic frameworks that undermine their democratic efficacy. As a result, online communities fail to revolutionize the civic landscape because they create cultures of membership that epitomize the commodification of community and public life altogether.
📝From Bowling Alone to Coffeeing Together A Reinvestigation of the Alleged Decline of Social Capital in the United States Book Synopsis : This study investigates trends in social capital in the United States. A fundamental aim of this study is to better understand American social capital trends by developing a more precise measure of social capital. Social capital is defined in terms of four dimensions: generalized trust, institutional trust, tolerance, and connectedness. The General Social Survey (GSS) from 1972 to 2002 is employed to assess trends in social capital in American society. Social capital trends vary not only by each dimension of social capital but also by generation (cohort). Age, period, and cohort (APC) analysis is employed to more closely scrutinize social capital patterns over the years. The APC analysis helps to disentangle age, period, and cohort effects in explaining levels of social capital over time. The total social capital trend, which is developed by combining all four dimensions of social capital, indicates levels of social capital are on the rebound. This study attempts to comprehend rising levels of social capital by proposing the notion of "lattes together" (in contrast to Putnam's thesis of "bowling alone") built on the concept of "third places" developed by Oldenburg. In American society, recently it appears that having a cup of coffee at third places has become one of the main American characters and social rituals.
📒Bowling Alone ✍ Elizabeth Morrow
📝Bowling Alone Book Synopsis : American political scientist Robert Putnam wasn’t the first person to recognize that social capital – the relationships between people that allow communities to function well – is the grease that oils the wheels of society. But by publishing Bowling Alone, he moved the debate from one primarily concerned with family and individual relationships one that studied the social capital generated by people’s engagement with the civic life. Putnam drew heavily on the critical thinking skill of interpretation in shaping his work. He took fresh looks at the meaning of evidence that other scholars had made too many assumptions about, and was scrupulous in clarifying what his evidence was really saying. He found that strong social capital has the power to boost health, lower unemployment, and improve life in major ways. As such, any decrease in civic engagement could create serious consequences for society. Putnam’s interpretation of these issues led him to the understanding that if America is to thrive, its citizens must connect.
📒Educating Democracy ✍ Brian Danoff
📝Educating Democracy Book Synopsis : Revisionist analysis of the role of strong leadership in democracies, drawing primarily upon the work of Alexis de Tocqueville.
📒Social Capital And The Latino Community ✍ Joy Hofer
📝Social capital and the Latino community Book Synopsis :
📒Disaffected Democracies ✍ Susan J. Pharr
📝Disaffected Democracies Book Synopsis : It is a notable irony that as democracy replaces other forms of governing throughout the world, citizens of the most established and prosperous democracies (the United States and Canada, Western European nations, and Japan) increasingly report dissatisfaction and frustration with their governments. Here, some of the most influential political scientists at work today examine why this is so in a volume unique in both its publication of original data and its conclusion that low public confidence in democratic leaders and institutions is a function of actual performance, changing expectations, and the role of information. The culmination of research projects directed by Robert Putnam through the Trilateral Commission and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, these papers present new data that allow more direct comparisons across national borders and more detailed pictures of trends within countries than previously possible. They show that citizen disaffection in the Trilateral democracies is not the result of frayed social fabric, economic insecurity, the end of the Cold War, or public cynicism. Rather, the contributors conclude, the trouble lies with governments and politics themselves. The sources of the problem include governments' diminished capacity to act in an interdependent world and a decline in institutional performance, in combination with new public expectations and uses of information that have altered the criteria by which people judge their governments. Although the authors diverge in approach, ideological affinity, and interpretation, they adhere to a unified framework and confine themselves to the last quarter of the twentieth century. This focus--together with the wealth of original research results and the uniform strength of the individual chapters--sets the volume above other efforts to address the important and increasingly international question of public dissatisfaction with democratic governance. This book will have obvious appeal for a broad audience of political scientists, politicians, policy wonks, and that still sizable group of politically minded citizens on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific.
📒Shopping For Meaningful Lives ✍ Bruce P. Rittenhouse
📝Shopping for Meaningful Lives Book Synopsis : Consumerism is a problem. It deforms individual character, our sense of obligation to one another, and our concern for future generations and the environment. Even in the aftermath of the worst economic downturn in seventy years, it remains a defining feature of Western cultures. But, beyond this assessment, neither Christian theologians and ethicists nor secular economists and sociologists have understood what drives consumerism or what can be done to counteract it. This is the problem that Bruce P. Rittenhouse solves in Shopping for Meaningful Lives. Dr. Rittenhouse analyzes economic, sociological, and psychological evidence to prove that consumers behave differently than the current theories predict. Dr. Rittenhouse shows that consumerism functions as a religion. It provides a means of assurance that an individual life is meaningful. Because we need this assurance to live out our everyday lives, consumerism takes precedence over whatever other values a person professes--unless a person can adopt a different way to secure the meaning of his or her life. This interpretation explains how consumers actually behave. From the perspective of Christian theology, consumerism is a wrong answer to a problem of human existence that should be answered by faith in Christ.
📒Subject To Debate ✍ Katha Pollitt
📝Subject to Debate Book Synopsis : Subject to Debate, Katha Pollitt's column in The Nation, has offered readers clear-eyed yet provocative observations on women, politics, and culture for more than seven years. Bringing together eighty-eight of her most astute essays on hot-button topics like abortion, affirmative action, and school vouchers, this selection displays the full range of her indefatigable wit and brilliance. Her stirring new Introduction offers a seasoned critique of feminism at the millennium and is a clarion call for renewed activism against social injustice. From the Trade Paperback edition.
📒The Oxford Handbook Of Classics In Public Policy And Administration ✍ Steven J. Balla
📝The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Public Policy and Administration Book Synopsis : This Handbook brings together a collection of leading international authors to reflect on the influence of central contributions, or classics, that have shaped the development of the field of public policy and administration. The Handbook reflects on a wide range of key contributions to the field, selected on the basis of their international and wider disciplinary impact. Focusing on classics that contributed significantly to the field over the second half of the 20th century, it offers insights into works that have explored aspects of the policy process, of particular features of bureaucracy, and of administrative and policy reforms. Each classic is discussed by a leading international scholars. They offer unique insights into the ways in which individual classics have been received in scholarly debates and disciplines, how classics have shaped evolving research agendas, and how the individual classics continue to shape contemporary scholarly debates. In doing so, this volume offers a novel approach towards considering the various central contributions to the field. The Handbook offers students of public policy and administration state-of-the-art insights into the enduring impact of key contributions to the field.