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 change
In 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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