Exercise 5: What Is to Be Done?

Now it is time to wrap up your investigation and to consider future investigation of social capital. In the final section of Bowling Alone, "What Is to Be Done?" Putnam places the decline of social capital in historical context and presents a challenge to Americans to restore community and social capital in America. On page 403, Putnam writes that this is both a "collective and individual initiative" and avoids "proclaiming any panacea." However, what Putnam has done is to initiate a "concerted nationwide conversation modeled on the intensive interchange among scholars and practitioners in the Progressive Era" called the "Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America." The ongoing results of the "Saguaro Seminar" are available on a continuously updated website.

A. Wrap Up Your Investigation: Reading

  • Read Bowling Alone, Chapters 23-24

  • Answer Questions 1-3

B. Investigating Beyond Bowling Alone: Reading

  • As part of Putnam's initiative with the "Saguaro Seminar," he coauthored the following book: Putnam, Robert D., Lewis Feldstein, and Donald J. Cohen. 2003. Better Together: Restoring the American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. Read this book.

  • Answer Question 4

C. Investigating Beyond Bowling Alone: Survey Research

  • The "Saguaro Seminar" includes a survey research initiative. The result was the 2001 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (another survey is being conducted in 2006). Explore the Web site to learn about this survey.

  • Answer Question 5

D. Investigating Beyond Bowling Alone: Public Policy Research

E. Investigating Beyond Bowling Alone: Social Capital in the News