Questions for Exercise 1: Getting Started

A. Reading

  1. Discuss the difference between "bridging" and "bonding" social capital.

  2. What is intercohort versus intracohort change? Discuss this in relation to what has happened to political and civic participation over the last quarter of the twentieth century.

  3. What has happened to the number of nonprofits between 1968 and 1997? Is this a useful indicator or "barometer" of civic participation, according to Putnam? Why or why not? What about official membership in formal organizations?

B. Learning and Practicing: Searching Codebooks

  1. What do the codes of '1' and '2' represent for the variable "clubmeet?"

  2. What is another variable in the DDB dataset, like "clubmeet," that is about civic engagement?

C. Learning and Practicing: Running and Interpreting Frequencies, Bar Charts, and Summary Statistics

  1. How is "SERVEGRP" coded and what is the level of measurement? Explain why it is this level of measurement.

  2. What does the frequency of those who have served as group officers in 1987 reveal about what Putnam calls "active participation?" What happens it the next decade, according to Putnam? What evidence does he provide for this?

  3. In the frequency for "clubmeet" for a year other than 1987, briefly explain your results, including the bar graph.

  4. In the frequency for "clubmeet" for a year other than 1987, explain the following summary statistics: mode, median, mean, range, variance and standard deviation.