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Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis af…
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Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis (udgave 2015)

af Robert D. Putnam (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3701352,485 (4.11)13
"A groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. It's the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. This is the America we believe in--a nation of opportunity, constrained only by ability and effort. But during the last twenty-five years we have seen a disturbing "opportunity gap" emerge. Americans have always believed in equality of opportunity, the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Now, this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. Robert Putnam--about whom The Economist said, "his scholarship is wide-ranging, his intelligence luminous, his tone modest, his prose unpretentious and frequently funny"--offers a personal but also authoritative look at this new American crisis. Putnam begins with his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. By and large the vast majority of those students--"our kids"--went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, drawing on a formidable body of research done especially for this book. Our Kids is a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence. Putnam provides a disturbing account of the American dream that should initiate a deep examination of the future of our country"--"The best-selling author of Bowling Alone offers a groundbreaking examination of the American Dream in crisis: how and why opportunities for upward mobility are diminishing, jeopardizing the prospects of an ever larger segment of Americans"--… (mere)
Medlem:adesanct
Titel:Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis
Forfattere:Robert D. Putnam (Forfatter)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2015), 400 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis af Robert D. Putnam (Author)

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» Se også 13 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
Last year I read this author's now-20 year old classic ("Bowling Alone") about waning social ties in America, and this is a related study that goes in quite a different direction. The author and research assistants conducted interviews with teenage/college-age kids and their parents in communities around the country, including his hometown of Port Clinton, Ohio to contrast this generation's prospects for stability in income and employment vs. his own. In short: the barriers are much bigger and more systemic today, ensuring that only the kids from two-parent households with higher than average incomes are guaranteed a good start to their adulthoods. Much like other sociological titles, I would have liked to see a little more in the solutions department, but it was still worthwhile. ( )
  jonerthon | Jan 9, 2021 |
Important topic, beautifully researched, dully written. Professor Putnam is such a smart, thoughtful person. I wish he didn't write like we was laying out the contents of a suitcase. He could stand to bring the same fire and passion to his words that I hear from him when he speaks publicly. ( )
  Smokler | Jan 3, 2021 |
Another thought-provoking read by Robert Putnam. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Americans like to believe that anyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity for a fair start in life through education and hard work. This book explores the “opportunity gap” that exists between children of “working- class” parents (defined as those with whose education did not go beyond high school) and children of “upper-middle-class” parents (defined as those who have a degree from a four-year-college). Through a combination of interviews with young adults of different races and (when possible) their parents from five cities across the US and an analysis of data from related quantitative research, Putnam explores this emerging gap. He also examines the factors and policies that likely contributed to the opportunity gap and presents options for improving social mobility. I appreciated the personal stories that were integrated into the discussion of this topic since they put statistics and trends into a more relatable context. It caused me to reflect upon my own childhood and upbringing and to consider how my experiences fit into the trends Putnam described. I also liked the fact that the book is not arguing on behalf of a political party or based on a particular political viewpoint as he explores this complex phenomenon.

Rachel H. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Hands down one of the best books I've ever read. Putnam combines case studies with data to paint a heartbreaking picture of just how deeply poverty affects our kids. I dare you to read this book and not come away looking at issues in a different light resulting in a renewed sense of purpose. A must read for anybody who cares about the future of our society. ( )
1 stem norinrad10 | Apr 12, 2017 |
Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
"Putnam has made a real contribution in calling our attention to a situation of profoundly divergent experiences for different classes that Americans ought to find morally unacceptable, as he obviously does. It’s especially useful that he offers so much detail about the social aspects of inequality, which haven’t had the broad discussion they deserve. But many of his readers will conclude from his argument that the heart of the problem is a decline in individual (not overall) mobility from a previously high level, and that the heart of the solution is to shore up the social capital in less well-off communities. Both propositions are overstated, and by making them so insistently Putnam risks using the attention he commands to narrow the discussion about what to do now to a set of possibilities that are far too limited for a problem this big."
 
"Scholars have written about class gaps for years. Charles Murray, a more conservative analyst than Putnam, covered similar terrain in his 2012 book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum). But two things distinguish Our Kids. One is its scope. Putnam combines a panoramic synthesis of scholarly literature (on family structure, parenting, schooling, and community life) with real stories about growing up in America today (culled from ethnographic interviews with upper- and lower-class families around the country).

The second is its author’s personal crusade. "

"The basic argument: To do well in life, kids need family stability, good schools, supportive neighbors, and parental investment of time and money. All of those advantages are increasingly available to the Miriams of the world and not to the Mary Sues, a disparity that Putnam calls "the opportunity gap."'
 
"You’d never know from “Our Kids” just how radically income inequality has grown; how much influence the wealthy now exercise in politics; and how well they protect their stakes. (We do hear a lot, by contrast, about the importance of family dinners.) To frame inequality, as Putnam largely does, as a product of inadequate empathy and weakened civic institutions is to overlook the extent to which it’s also a story about interests and power.

Where Putnam succeeds is in describing the diverging life chances of children in rich and poor families.""

"The recent growth of inequality, which began in the 1970s, would be glimpsed better a few rungs up the ladder, among the besieged working class. Oddly in a book about inequality we never learn how much money any of the families have."
tilføjet af jodi | RedigerNew York Times, Jason DeParle (pay site) (Mar 4, 2015)
 

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"A groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. It's the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. This is the America we believe in--a nation of opportunity, constrained only by ability and effort. But during the last twenty-five years we have seen a disturbing "opportunity gap" emerge. Americans have always believed in equality of opportunity, the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Now, this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. Robert Putnam--about whom The Economist said, "his scholarship is wide-ranging, his intelligence luminous, his tone modest, his prose unpretentious and frequently funny"--offers a personal but also authoritative look at this new American crisis. Putnam begins with his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. By and large the vast majority of those students--"our kids"--went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, drawing on a formidable body of research done especially for this book. Our Kids is a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence. Putnam provides a disturbing account of the American dream that should initiate a deep examination of the future of our country"--"The best-selling author of Bowling Alone offers a groundbreaking examination of the American Dream in crisis: how and why opportunities for upward mobility are diminishing, jeopardizing the prospects of an ever larger segment of Americans"--

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