Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

by Eric Klinenberg
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Overview

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg

With eye-opening statistics, original data, and vivid portraits of people who live alone, renowned sociologist Eric Klinenberg upends conventional wisdom to deliver the definitive take on how the rise of going solo is transforming the American experience.

            Klinenberg shows that most single dwellers—whether in their twenties or eighties—are deeply engaged in social and civic life. There's even evidence that people who live alone enjoy better mental health and have more environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Drawing on more than three hundred in-depth interviews, Klinenberg presents a revelatory examination of the most significant demographic shift since the baby boom and offers surprising insights on the benefits of this epochal change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594203220
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology at New York University and the editor of the journal Public Culture. His first book, Heat Wave, won several prizes and was declared a "Favorite Book" by the Chicago Tribune. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Singleton Society 1

1 Going Solo 29

2 The Capacity to Live Alone 57

3 Separating 85

4 Protecting the Self 109

5 Together Alone 131

6 Aging Alone 157

7 Redesigning Solo Life 185

Conclusion 211

Appendix: Methods of Research and Analysis 235

Notes 239

Select Bibliography 255

Acknowledgments 265

Index 267

What People are Saying About This

Richard Sennett

 “Eric Klinenberg has written a searching book on living alone.  He shows the depth of this experience in modern society, its richness as well as its pains. Going Solo gives a fresh slant to debates about the organization of cities, and illuminates the philosophic quest to understand solitude.  Klinenberg writes to communicate, rather than to impress.  A necessary book.”

Slate.com

“Klinenberg convincingly argues that the convergence of mass urbanization, communications technology, and liberalized attitudes has driven this trend.”

Edward Glaeser

“Eric Klinenberg’s Going Solo is a tour de force—a book that is relevant, engaging, and deeply insightful. An increasing number of Americans are living by themselves, whether as twentysomethings or eightysomethings. Klinenberg tears down the myths that surround living alone, creates a nuanced picture that celebrates the advantages, and details the challenges of going solo. This is a fascinating volume that infuses serious social-science research with captivating personal stories.”

danah boyd

Going Solo brilliantly explores an overlooked phenomenon with significant implications, and debunks longstanding cultural myths that have prevented us from understanding the rise of living alone. Instead of lamenting the decline of community, Klinenberg calls attention to the innovative ways we’re connecting with others while also creating space for reflection and personal growth. He entices us to rethink the very essence of home, personal relationships, and community. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone who’s curious about contemporary social life, and especially for those who fret that technology is making people more isolated.”

BookPage

“[Klinenberg] leavens his copious array of statistics with dozens of anecdotes about individuals who live alone either by choice or by circumstance...This book is a catalog of possibilities.”

Christian Science Monitor

“Thought-provoking… Mr. Klinenberg argues that singletons comprise a kind of shadow population that’s misunderstood by policymakers and our culture writ large. Going Solo is an attempt to fill in the blanks – to explain the causes and consequences of living alone, and to describe what it looks in everyday life…. Klinenberg renders [these] stories vividly but also with nuance.”

The National Post

“Klinenberg’s research is meticulous…Going Solo makes much of the distinction between being alone and feeling alone, between desiring company and craving personal space. Klinenberg debunks the notion that living alone is always a transitional phase en route to domestic bliss with a partner or spouse.”

Bookforum

“As Klinenberg shows, this country is getting more single by the minute. The facts are astonishing.”

Associated Press Staff

 “This book takes a wide-ranging look at a topic that applies to many of us, even if we don't realize it.”

New York Observer

Going Solo is invigoratingly open-minded.”

Newsday

 “Cliché-shattering.”

Daniel Akst

“Fascinating and admirably temperate . . . [Going Solo] does a good job of explaining the social forces behind the trend and exploring the psychology of those who participate in it.”

Kate Ascher

"Going Solo is a terrifically revealing work and an important reminder: the design of cities and communities must go beyond architecture and the environment to reflect the way people want or need to live.  Eric Klinenberg’s account of how living alone has changed the modern metropolis should be required reading for anyone who cares about cities."

David Brooks

"Today, as Eric Klinenberg reminds us in his book, Going Solo, more than 50 percent of adults are single . . . [he] nicely shoes that people who live alone are more likely to visit friends and join social groups. They are more likely to congregate in and create active, dynamic cities."

Danah Boyd

Going Solo brilliantly explores an overlooked phenomenon with significant implications, and debunks longstanding cultural myths that have prevented us from understanding the rise of living alone. Instead of lamenting the decline of community, Klinenberg calls attention to the innovative ways we’re connecting with others while also creating space for reflection and personal growth. He entices us to rethink the very essence of home, personal relationships, and community. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone who’s curious about contemporary social life, and especially for those who fret that technology is making people more isolated.”

From the Publisher

"The Most Conversation-Generating Book About How We Live Now:  This non-fiction book has led to coverage and related stories in just about every major media publication, from the New York Times to the The New Yorker to The Guardian... Kudos to Klinenberg, an NYU sociology professor, for providing this well-researched and compelling exploration into the utterly contemporary topic of living alone, and opening up so many discussions of what it all means about us as individuals and as a society."
The Atlantic, "Books We Loved in 2012"

A book so important that it is likely to become both a popular read and a social science classic... This book really will change the lives of people who live solo, and everyone else... thorough, balanced, and persuasive.”
Psychology Today

“Today, as Eric Klinenberg reminds us in his book, ‘Going Solo,’ more than 50 percent of adults are single…[he] nicely shows that people who live alone are more likely to visit friends and join social groups. They are more likely to congregate in and create active, dynamic cities.”
—David Brooks, The New York Times

 “Fascinating and admirably temperate…[Going Solo] does a good job of explaining the social forces behind the trend and exploring the psychology of those who participate in it.”
—Daniel Akst, The Wall Street Journal

"Trailblazing."
—Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair

"Going Solo examines a dramatic demographic trend: the startling increase in adults living alone. Along the way, the book navigates some rough and complicated emotional terrain, finding its way straight to questions of the heart, to the universal yearning for happiness and purpose. In the end, despite its title, Going Solo is really about living better together—for all of us, single or not."
The Washington Post

 

Stephanie Coontz

“A fascinating, even-handed exploration of the rise in solo living, addressing its rewards and challenges for individuals as well as its far-reaching implications for society. Illuminating.”

The Atlantic

“[Going Solo] serves as a good reminder that single living is alive and well.”

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Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
RGCNY More than 1 year ago
vital info about what is happening in our culture; how living patterns are changing faster than our assumptions about them and how we need to recognize and adapt to current conditions
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neat read with interesting perceptive. I find myself quoting parts in conversations :) ..And it gets you thinking.
Phil_Atwood More than 1 year ago
This book struck a nerve for me as I am in the process of "going solo," being divorced after 44 years of marriage. I am not alone! This, research-based, book provides a rich mixture of statistics and very personal interview information from individuals facing life as a single, both by choice and by chance. And there are many more than one may imagine. While not a "how-to" book, per se, "Going Solo" rationalizes single living without glamorizing it. A should-read for both professionals and anyone contemplating, or actually, going solo.
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