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[Xmca-l] Re: Interesting to think about: the social springs of giving

Yes, indeed I am interested, Mike.
Critiquing the concept of "social capital" and developing an alternative concept of "social solidarity" and searching for a suitable unit of analysis was how I got started down the track I have been on ever since then, about 2003. What is the difference between community as in all people living in such and such town, and "real" community? Robert Putnam had assembled evidence that almost any collective activity fosters what he called "social capital." The problem was that he couldn't distinguish between the mafia taking root in a community and a community taking control of crime on its streets, etc. His classic "example" activity was the formation of choir groups, proven promoters of collective "wealth".

*Andy Blunden*
On 19/10/2015 2:07 PM, mike cole wrote:
I found a segment of the American weekly TV program, 60 minutes, more than
usually interesting this evening, and one segment in particular
seemed to have a lot of relevance to many different interests of people on
xmca. The topic was the the activities of the "Make a Wish Foundation."

Of the very many issues that the program discusses, one which I found
particularly interesting was the ability of the organized practice of
raising money to give seriously ill children "a last wish" is one that has
particular relevance to questions about the mechanisms of social
solidarity. In small towns in northern Arkansas, a relatively poor and out
of the part of the US, people raise amazing amounts of money to provide
special experience for kids who are dying of some disease that has not
known current cure. What particularly caught my attention especially is the
powerful effect that participation in the money raising and the ingenious
social organization of the activities, has on community members across
several generations, from peers to grandparents. In one sense, it seems
that everything is so focuses on the individual kid that it is "just a
manifestation of late capitalist individualism." If effects on the kids is
interesting, but it is the reflected effect on the community pretty
generally, and the emergence of strong personal bonds in particular that
caught me most.

Andy might find this interesting as an example of a project.


  http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/topics/60-minutes/     click on make a wish