How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century

How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century

by Bella DePaulo Ph.D.


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A close-up examination and exploration, How We Live Now challenges our old concepts of what it means to be a family and have a home, opening the door to the many diverse and thriving experiments of living in twenty-first century America.

Across America and around the world, in cities and suburbs and small towns, people from all walks of life are redefining our “lifespaces”—the way we live and who we live with. The traditional nuclear family in their single-family home on a suburban lot has lost its place of prominence in contemporary life. Today, Americans have more choices than ever before in creating new ways to live and meet their personal needs and desires.

Social scientist, researcher, and writer Bella DePaulo has traveled across America to interview people experimenting with the paradigm of how we live. In How We Live Now, she explores everything from multi-generational homes to cohousing communities where one’s “family” is made up of friends and neighbors to couples “living apart together” to single-living, and ultimately uncovers a pioneering landscape for living that throws the old blueprint out the window.

Through personal interviews and stories, media accounts, and in-depth research, How We Live Now explores thriving lifespaces, and offers the reader choices that are freer, more diverse, and more attuned to our modern needs for the twenty-first century and beyond.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582704791
Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
Publication date: 08/25/2015
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Bella DePaulo, PhD, is a psychologist and the author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. Her research and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other outlets, and she blogs at Psychology Today, Psych Central, and Huffington Post. DePaulo is currently a visiting professor of psychology at UC Santa Barbara in California.

Table of Contents

Not Going Nuclear: So Many Ways to Live and Love ix

1 How We Live Now: Finding Our Place, Our Space, and Our People 1

2 One Big, Happy Family: Relatives Sharing and Caring 23

3 One Big, Happy Friendship: Housemates Go Long and Deep 55

4 Living in a Community: From Neighbors to Friends 83

5 Not-So-Single Parents: Finding New Kinds of Community 119

6 The New Couples: So Happy Not Together 155

7 Lifespaces For the New Old Age: Institutions Begone! 183

8 There's Nothing Sweeter Than Solitude: Living Alone 215

Revolutions in Living, Now and in the Future 249

Acknowledgments 263

Notes 267

Bibliography 279

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