Marc Dunkelman is the author of “The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community,” and he joins this episode of Federalist Radio to discuss an epochal shift in our social landscapes and daily interactions that have always been essential in civil discourse and compromise.
Dunkelman discusses how both technology and disappearing institutions have changed the type of people we come into contact with. “Because there are only 24 hours in a day…we are choosing to invest in the inner and outer most rings… and we are abandoning those middle rings,” he said. “And it is in the middle rings where you come into contact with people who generally have different points of view than you.”
The non-cognitive skill of “grit” is also a characteristic that studies show is needed to maintain a bond with someone whom you disagree. “People abandon neighborly relationships. They don’t engage in conversations about religion or politics or whatever social issue…because they are afraid of what might happen if the other person that they are talking to takes a different view.”