Everyday Interactions Foster Debate, Compromise and Healthier Communities

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The amount of casual interactions we have with acquaintances, for instance a delivery person, has dropped over the past 50 years

Routines that once put doctors and lawyers in touch with grocers and plumbers—casual, everyday interactions that encouraged debate and compromise—have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Marc J. Dunkelman argues that the disappearance of these community interactions are to blame America's economic troubles and political gridlock. Social media and technology make it seem like we’re more connected than ever, but they’re no substitute for human connections within our neighborhoods and communities. In his book The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community Dunkelman looks at this shift in American life, and shows how incidental interactions have built local communities and fostered healthy debate for centuries.