Ryan Streeter and Dan Cox on the State of American Communities

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Throughout America’s history, its people formed churches, social and fraternal organizations, and neighborhood groups at an astonishing pace. When we talk about “American exceptionalism” this is what we’re really talking about: the self-organizing community that solves its own problems.

In second half of the 20th century, however, scholars and pundits have pointed to a decline in American neighborliness and propensity for joining civic organizations. Church attendance is down, social organizations are dissolving, and two-parent families are declining. What can the data on American attitudes toward community tell us about why this is happening?

Today, I am pleased to welcome Ryan Streeter and Dan Cox to discuss the state of American communities. Streeter is a Senior Fellow and Director of Domestic Policy Studies at AEI. He studies topics of civil society, community, localism and religion. Dan Cox is the Senior Fellow in Polling and Public Opinion at AEI and the Director of the Survey Center of American Life. He specializes understanding American attitudes toward politics, youth culture, identity, and religion. We discuss highlights from AEI’s fall American Community survey, which can be found on the AEI website. We’ll also discuss their vocational journeys and professional lives and the role of civic engagement in building a happy and fulfilling life.

Mentioned During the Episode

Ryan Streeter

Dan Cox

American Community Survey

Stephen Goldsmith

Adam Smith

David Hume

Social network analysis

Pew Research Center

Public Religion Research Institute

Karlyn Bowman

The Moral Sense- James Q. Wilson

Irving Kristol

Michael Novak

To Empower People

Thermostatic Opinion

Sam Abrams on public libraries

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