While conventional assessments of the national quality of life focus on the economic and material dimensions of our society, "A Fragile Social Fabric?" expands that evaluation to include the social covenant of rights and obligations. The authors examine two sides of the social covenant: what Canadians expect from their society - fairness, recognition for their contribution to society, trust that others will not take advantage of them, and a sense of belonging - and what is expected from them - a sense of indebtedness to society that reflects an appreciation of how they have benefited as members of their society, a sense of obligation to help others, and a willingness to contribute to the functioning of the community and society. Based on this analysis, the authors identify a number of steps that can be taken to strengthen the Canadian social fabric. This study is especially pertinent today given the pervasive market culture that is eroding the civic culture underlying the social covenants in contemporary Western societies. It goes beyond conventional assessments that focus on economic and material dimensions of our society.