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In his new book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis" (Simon & Schuster, 2015), Robert Putnam describes an America that is increasingly separate and unequal along class lines: Children from wealthy families enjoy the benefits of stable two-parent families who invest heavily in their development, deep and positive social networks, and a knowledge economy. Poor and working-class kids, however, increasingly navigate broken families, the absence of adult role models, and an economy with fewer well-paying jobs for those with low levels of education. And more and more, the two groups don't mix.
To what extent is this analysis of opportunity in America correct and cause for concern? What role do culture and public policy play in these trends? And how should individuals, community members, and policymakers respond? Join AEI and three of America’s most prominent social scientists for a discussion of these important questions.