Monday, August 18, 2014

Have we reached the end of American community?

The world has changed. We can intimately and immediately know what's taking place in the far reaches of the world, or across America. But we often don’t know what’s going on with our neighbors and in our own community.

Today we are a part of many communities of interest, not necessarily communities of geography. And is it any surprise, really? The natural human tendency is to associate with people like us. But as mobility and tolerance have allowed a diversity of communities, it has, in fact, atomized us in ways that we seek the familiar, no matter where on the planet it might be.

But what is the consequence of this?  We were once a great and vast continental nation, that had to rely on community as a form of safety and self government. Today that’s not the case. The result has impacted our relationships, or politics, and the very way we govern ourselves.

Where it’s going and how we got here is the subject The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Communitya brilliant new book by Marc Dunkelman.

My conversation with Marc Dunkelman:

Bookmark and Share