ABOUT THIS BOOK
From all sides we hear that Americans are becoming increasingly self-absorbed and disconnected, and that our interest in social and civic responsibility is on the decline. A more encouraging profile emerges in this study of Americans at work, at home with their families, and in their communities. The book is based on a national, representative survey of more than 3,000 Americans aged 25 to 74—plus in-depth interviews with adults drawn from the survey—to find out what Americans mean by social responsibility.
The book explores the extent to which adults contribute time to caregiving, social support, and financial assistance to family members; the time given to volunteer work and financial contributions to various causes, charities, and organizations; and how these contributions are affected by job obligations. A major focus is on age and gender differences, which shows midlife to be a transitional time when civic activities increase as family obligations decline. All told, the study adds a hopeful new voice to the overwhelmingly negative debate about the current state of our civic and social lives.