The Importance Of Social Capital In America

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Better Together: A Civic Nation at Risk Americans have long prided themselves on being exceptionally civic-minded; however, in recent history Americans have started to withdraw from one another. A nation once rich in social capital, is now a nation struggling to return to a former self. A bigger problem at play here, is the fact that most Americans are unaware of their withdrawal from one another. America needs to put an emphasis on the recreation of social capital. America’s long reign as the most respected nation in history is at risk of spiraling out of control if nothing is done to reverse this downward trend of social capital.
The Importance of Social Capital
This surge of decline in social capital in America comes to much surprise
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439). Putnam identifies three aspects of Americans’ lives that are changing; therefore, causing such a rapid decline in social capital. These three aspects are political participation, family relations, and friendships. Putnam (2003) reports that casting a ballot in national elections has fell by approximately 25% since the mid-1960s (pg. 439). This disconnect between citizen and government is one example of the decline in social capital in America. The great American democracy can not continue to succeed if Americans are disregarding the privilege of voice. Not only are Americans spending less time at the polls, but they are also spending less time with their families. According to Putnam (2003), “More than four in ten parents said they didn’t have enough time to spend with their kids – mainly because of work obligations” (pg. 440). Parents recognize the fact that they are spending too few of their time with their children, and blame this on the fact that they have to work too much. Parents are feeling more stressed than ever. In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, Parker and Wang found that 56% of working moms and 50% of working dads find it very difficult trying to balance family and work responsibilities (2013). The decline of social capital in America is detrimental to the lives of …show more content…
How can Americans revive America? Putnam (2003) says, “We need nothing less than a sustained, broad-based social movement to restore civic virtue and civic participation in America (pg. 441). It’s going to take a nation willing to make a change to restore this nation to its original state. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time for such change. After years of economic growth, it’s time for newfound prosperity to turn into social capital (Putnam, 2003, pg. 441). All it takes is a small investment in social capital to generate enormous returns. Americans hold the key to their own success, and all it takes is a little action to create a prosperous America

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