Need a friend?

Chances are pretty good that the answer may be yes.  The lastest Sociological research from a professor at Duke finds a pretty substantial increase in social isolation over the past two decades.  The average American has moved from three to just two close confidants in over this time span. 

Of course, this research largely supports the work of Robert Putnam, a Harvard Political Science professor who first wrote that Americans are increasingly “Bowling Alone” more than a decade ago.  He argues that this decreasing civic engagement (as evidenced by the decline of bowling leagues and other such activities) is a threat to the health of our democracy.  I've never actually read Putnam's book (an embarrassing admission for a political scientist), but I've read enough about it to know that it is thought-provoking stuff. 


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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