Hi Andy and Phillip,
It is my reading the Putnam and the Lewin of 1947 actually disagree more than agree. Putnam seemed to long for an earlier time when higher levels of social capital and social cohesion exists because people did things together and formed communities big and small based on the things that they did - today people have become too distributed. He worried we were losing this cohesion which he put in the context of social capital. Lewin, who actually lived through this time, seemed much less sanguine about social capital as social capital, cohesion as cohesion. Just because a community was cohesive did not mean it was healthy.
I think of the community the L.J. Hannifan who coined the term social capital was describing in the mountains of West Virginia. The qualities he described were really interesting, but as is so often the case it was what he left out which was really important. What would happen if some oppressed group moved into their tightly knit group? Or how trapped were women in their roles? I think one of the goals of Lewin and his colleagues was to point out that often social capital and group cohesion could be a devil's bargain that can easily descend into tribalism. It could also be used as an excuse, claiming if you lost it communities would fall apart.
The development of well functioning group communities is always an ongoing project.
Anyway, my readings of the two scholars.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] on behalf of White, Phillip [Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:18 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE: [xmca] Lewin and unification of the social sciences
thanks, Andy - Putnam i know and have, and can reread him.
From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden [email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:11 AM
To: White, Phillip
Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Lewin and unification of the social sciences
Apologies (I had returned the book to the library and it was a long time
The term is "long civic generation," and it is proposed in "Bowling
Alone" by Robert Putnam.
If you do a google search for "long civic generation" you will find what
White, Phillip wrote:
Andy, you wrote:
Greg, people in the social cohesion business record that from the
mid-1930s till the late 1950s (in the US) there was what they call "the
long communitarian generation", after which life descended into
liberalism, with signs of recovery only in the past couple of decades.
in my ignorance of this period of american history i had no recognition of what you're describing here - so i googled "the long communitarian generation" and nothing really came up that i could attach meaning to. so, who are the "they" that you are referring to? references to names would be a help for me here.
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/