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.