This paper discusses the efficacy of using Robert Putnam’s theory of social capital as the framework for forming long-term reciprocal relationship amongst Writing students, faculty, clients and staff of a community-based agency. In particular, I explore the ways the bonding and bridging relationships that Robert Putnam describes provide a conceptual framework for harnessing the gravitational push and pull we experience daily, as we cooperate and collaborate in various ways depending on circumstance and purpose. To illustrate my point, I provide an account of an on-going relationship between my students and the clients and staff of the James L. Maher Center, an agency that provides meaningful vocational, educational, educational, athletic, and social activities for differently-abled adults.
Nester, Nancy L. 2009. "Bonding, Bridging, and Social Change." Presented at Developing Long-Term, Reciprocal Relationships with Community Partners. Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. San Francisco.