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Re: Re: AIS: membership trends in context.

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Re: AIS: membership trends in context.
  • From: Robt R Pries rpries@sbcglobal.net
  • Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 06:06:27 -0800 (PST)

 Great Job Linda:

Membership figures need to be placed in a context of the society in which we are living.

I tried to find comparable figure for organizations as a group. Without paying for the data I only came up with the following press releases from “Bowling Alone’. In perspective it seems we have been doing very well,


“But the declines are equally visible in non-political community life: membership and activity in all sorts of local clubs and civic and religious organizations have been falling at an accelerating pace. In the mid-1970s the average American attended some club meeting every month, but by 1998 that rate of attendance had been cut by nearly 60%.


Informal social ties. Equally striking is the fraying of our informal ties with friends and neighbors and relatives. In 1975 the average American entertained friends at home 15 times per year; the equivalent figure is now barely half that. Virtually all leisure activities that involve doing something with someone else, from playing volleyball to playing chamber music, are declining


Most fundamentally, our nation is in the midst of a generational change that will make the problem worse before it gets better. A "long civic generation," born in the first third of the twentieth century, is now passing from the scene. Their children and grandchildren (baby boomers and Generation X-ers) are much less engaged in most forms of community life. For example, the growth in volunteering over the last ten years is due almost entirely to increased volunteering by retirees from the long civic generation. However welcome this development may be in the short run, it represents not a springtime of civic spirit, but an Indian summer. In short, none of the traditional channels for community connectedness fit the ways younger Americans have come to live their lives”.


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