Social Isolation in American Life

Award Year:
Eric Klinenberg
Mental Health
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.