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

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


By (author) Eric Klinenberg

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  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 273 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 236mm x 28mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 2 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1594203229
  • ISBN 13: 9781594203220
  • Sales rank: 189,308

Product description

A revelatory examination of the most significant demographic shift since the Baby Boom--the sharp increase in the number of people who live alone--that offers surprising insights on the benefits of this epochal changeIn 1950, only 22 percent of American adults were single. Today, more than 50 percent of American adults are single, and 31 million--roughly one out of every seven adults--live alone. People who live alone make up 28 percent of all U.S. households, which makes them more common than any other domestic unit, including the nuclear family. In GOING SOLO, renowned sociologist and author Eric Klinenberg proves that these numbers are more than just a passing trend. They are, in fact, evidence of the biggest demographic shift since the Baby Boom: we are learning to go solo, and crafting new ways of living in the process.Klinenberg explores the dramatic rise of solo living, and examines the seismic impact it's having on our culture, business, and politics. Though conventional wisdom tells us that living by oneself leads to loneliness and isolation, Klinenberg shows that 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. Drawing on over three hundred in-depth interviews with men and women of all ages and every class, Klinenberg reaches a startling conclusion: in a world of ubiquitous media and hyperconnectivity, this way of life can help 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 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.

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Author information

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 scholarly and literary prizes and was declared a "Favorite Book" by the "Chicago Tribune." His research has been heralded in "The New Yorker" and on CNN and NPR, and his stories have appeared in "The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone," and on "This American Life."

Review quote

"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"