Still Bowling Alone? The Post-9/11 Split

Issue Date January 2010
Volume 21
Issue 1
Page Numbers 9-16
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“Bowling Alone” (1995) described widespread civic disengagement in America since the 1960s. On the article’s fifteenth anniversary, this piece revisits these issues to make two new observations. First, a new “9/11 Generation”—adolescents on September 11—is far more politically engaged than their elders were at a similar age. This incipient civic revival was furthered, but not created, by the Obama campaign. But, second, a growing class gap among our youth—in civic and religious engagement, family support, social trust, and self-esteem—threatens future social cohesion and social mobility and may lead America towards a caste society.

About the Authors

Thomas H. Sander

Thomas H. Sander is executive director of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

View all work by Thomas H. Sander

Robert D. Putnam

Robert D. Putnam is Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University.

View all work by Robert D. Putnam