Tell us your thoughts: Is Utah one happy family, or two warring states divided by faith?

December 29, 2022 (Salt Lake Tribune)

“All in all,” declares a recent report by the Utah Foundation, “Utah performs impressively on the measures of participation in community life.”

Those measures — ranging from charitable giving and church attendance to volunteerism and neighborhood participation — have been used for years to gauge the health of American democracy.

The report draws on the work of distinguished Harvard professor Robert Putnam, and The Salt Lake Tribune decided to speak with Putnam and Utah native and co-author of “The Upswing,” Shaylyn Romney Garrett, about its findings.

The report looks at “social capital” — which takes the form of implicit trust within or between groups — in Utah. If a neighborhood has strong social capital, then a person can go to a neighbor down the street to borrow a drill or a cup of sugar.

But social capital takes two forms: bonding and bridging. Bonding social capital means you implicitly trust members of your own group. Bridging social capital means you trust those outside of your group. In his 2010 book, “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” Putnam found that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the strongest bonding and among the weakest bridging social capital of any religious group in America.

For Putnam and Garrett, the study raised more questions than answers, so we’re turning to you.

Tell us in this survey if you trust your neighbors and what contributes to bonding — or lack thereof — in your communities…

  View Article

Referenced Reports