Eric Klinenberg Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology
Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge
New York University
Email: Discipline: Sociology Expertise: Health Risks, Urban Health, Media and Health, Neighborhood Health

Investigator Award
Social Isolation in American Life
Award Year: 2003 More Americans live and die alone than at any time in our nation's history. The common problems they suffer - depression, strained or severed family ties, minimal contact with friends, and difficulties navigating the health care system - often go undetected or are ignored by health care professionals. Eric Klinenberg, Ph.D. offers a new approach to understanding the emergence of social isolation and its effects on health, especially among the elderly and disadvantaged in American cities. His project, Social Isolation in American Life, examines how people experience isolation, using multiple research methods to build a knowledge base about living and dying alone. Dr. Klinenberg recently published book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (Penguin Press, 2012) explores the impact that living alone is having on U.S. culture, business, and politics.


Eric Klinenberg is professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is conducting a multi-year study of the extraordinary rise in living alone. He reported on parts of this research for NPR?s This American Life. Other recent books include, Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media (Holt and Co., 2007) and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002), which received the prize for Best Book in Sociology and Anthropology from the Association of American Publishers, the Robert Park Book Award from the American Sociological Association, the Komarovsky Book Award from the Eastern Sociological Society, the Biannual Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association, the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Award from the British Sociological Association, and was a "Favorite Book" selection of the Chicago Tribune. Klinenberg is also the editor of a special volume of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on "Cultural Production in a Digital Age," and a co-editor of The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness (Duke University Press, 2001). He has published in several academic journals, as well as the London Review of Books, the Nation, the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, and Slate. Klinenberg was a 2007 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley.