Peace Corps Returns
Harburg, Michelle D.
The Peace Corps brings to mind many different impressions and ideas. I chose to examine specifically how the Peace Corps affects social capital in the United States. Social capital is a term that is defined by Robert Putnam as “connections among individuals-social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.” Robert Putnam wrote a book called Bowling Alone that theorized that social capital is diminishing in the United States as individuals are becoming more isolated within their homes. I hypothesized that given the nature of the Peace Corps, it could actually increase social capital through the returned volunteers and therefore bring all the benefits that are associated with this concept.