Bowling alone (20-something guys)

Thanks to Nicole Sanseverino for sharing this recent Newsweek article, pertaining to my last lecture on social alienation (with references to “Bowling alone” by Robert Putnam).  

“According to the General Social Survey, a highly regarded decades long University of Chicago project to map changes in American culture, twentysomething guys are bowling alone when compared with the rest of society. They are less likely to read a newspaper, attend church, vote for president or believe that people are basically trustworthy, helpful and fair.”

Young post-college men are having greater difficulty finding rewarding intimate connections and delaying the onset of “grown-up life.”  Because journalism is so wrapped up in community, if a person doesn’t feel part of a community, they have less motivation to follow the news about that community.  College students may relate better to findings in a recent book I read (“Inside Greek U”) by a University of Kentucky professor, who found that Greek men had strong and deep connections with their fraternity brothers, but that changed after graduation.  With sorority women the trend went the other way.  In our culture, unfortunately, young people (particularly men) are often not equipped to cultivate meaningful, intimate and life-long friendships.  

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One Response to “Bowling alone (20-something guys)”

  1. Denise Says:

    This is an interesting post because this sense of ‘community’ was just discussed in my sociology class. I went to high school in Thailand and it was boarding so we were all together most hours of the day. Of the people in my class, I’ve found that the girls have kept more in contact with each other than the guys. But before, they were the ones who would go out on the town most with each other. What makes it so that men are less likely to form those life-long friendships? I asked a male friend of mine and he responded, “Because that’s gay.”

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