Bowling Alone in a Recession

Reading the news today, a paragraph from David Brooks stands out as a prediction on the social fabric of the US as they (we?) enter into a prolonged recession.

Finally, they will suffer a drop in social capital. In times of recession, people spend more time at home. But this will be the first steep recession since the revolution in household formation. Nesting amongst an extended family rich in social capital is very different from nesting in a one-person household that is isolated from family and community bonds. People in the lower middle class have much higher divorce rates and many fewer community ties. For them, cocooning is more likely to be a perilous psychological spiral.

Having seen this first-hand as a consumer in Japan, and as a provider of services (education), I can attest that adjustments are harsh, but usually not swift. If you can start to rebuild your personal infrastructure, and adapt, you will eventually achieve both an adjustment of expectations and possibilities that will leave you with a cleaner outlook on the world.

The title refers to a book about socialization in the US. Will follow up later.

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