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Copyright
VOLUME 1 (1999), ISSUE 1 (SUMMER)

 

DEVELOPING CIVIL SOCIETY: CAN THE WORKPLACE REPLACE " BOWLING" ?

ALAN WOLFE

 

SUMMARY

In the last decades, the ties of trust and mutual dependence upon which communities rely have been as radically transformed in America as company loyalties and employer/employee relations. Did America deplete its social capital ? Even if the decline of civil ties in the neighborhood is being compensated by new ties formed at work, the instrumental character of the latter cannot be an adequate substitute for the loss of the former. It is not necessarily the overall decline of in group membership that is crucial but the change in the qualitative nature of these ties. The fact that so many respondents to Alan Wolfe’s inquiry believed that selfishness in America has increased suggests that, in their view of the world, the quality of the social ties they experience is not as rich as it ought to be. On the other hand, these are optimistic people who believe that, whatever problem exists, a solution will be found.

KEYWORDS

Men/Women Relationships - Families - Communities - Civil Societies - Private Life - Work - Friendships

AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION

Alan WOLFE is a professor of Sociology and Political Science at Boston University, USA.

COPYRIGHT

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