An Introduction to Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone

How important is connectedness in a community? Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam details the early 21st century theory of the decreased value of social capital. A short analysis video takes sociology students through Putnam's argument, which describes the factors that he believes have influenced the loss of social niceties and familial connections.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have learners share the experiences of their childhoods to compare to Putnam's text
  • Use the text as a class reading assignment, and compare Putnam’s argument to novels that feature neighborhood connections, such as The Sandlot and To Kill a Mockingbird
Classroom Considerations

  • A full version of the analysis is available at the publisher's website with a paid subscription or free trial
Pros

  • Provides thought-provoking discussion topics
  • Animation is engaging and explanatory
Cons

  • None