Publications » Featured Books by Investigators:
|Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone|
|The Penguin Press|
Show summary Renowned sociologist and author Eric Klinenberg explores the dramatic rise of solo living and examines the seismic impact it's having on our culture, business, and politics. Conventional wisdom tells us that living by oneself leads to loneliness and isolation, but, as Klinenberg shows, most solo dwellers are deeply engaged in social and civic life. In fact, compared with their married counterparts, they are more likely to eat out and exercise, go to art and music classes, attend public events and lectures, and volunteer. There's even evidence that people who live alone enjoy better mental health than unmarried people who live with others and have more environmentally sustainable lifestyles than families, since they favor urban apartments over large suburban homes.
It is now more common for an American adult to live alone than with family or a roommate, and Klinenberg analyzes the challenges and opportunities these people face: young professionals who pay higher rent for the freedom and privacy of their own apartments; singles in their thirties and forties who refuse to compromise their career or lifestyle for an unsatisfying partner; divorced men and women who no longer believe that marriage is a reliable source of happiness or stability; and the elderly, most of whom prefer living by themselves to living with friends or their children. Living alone is more the rule than the exception in places like Manhattan, half of whose residents live by themselves, and many of America's largest cities, where more than a third of the population does. Drawing on over three hundred interviews with men and women of all ages and every class who live alone, Klinenberg reaches a startling conclusion: In a world of ubiquitous media and hyperconnectivity, this way of life helps us discover ourselves and appreciate the pleasure of good company.
With eye-opening statistics, original data, and vivid portraits of people who go solo, Klinenberg upends the conventional wisdom to deliver the definitive take on how the rise of living alone is transforming the American experience. Going Solo is a powerful- and necessary-assessment of an unprecedented social change.
Linked Investigator Award(s):
|Eric Klinenberg, Ph.D.||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.