Eric Klinenberg Going Solo Summary

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Filled with a smorgasbord of rich, detailed interviews of solo dwellers and other stakeholders to single living, Eric Klinenberg’s Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise And Surprising Appeal Of Living Alone (2012) provides an intimate account into the phenomenal rise of solo living that has both paralyzed and empowered American society; a phenomenon that is on an international rise, with its reach extending to other nations across the globe. Klinenberg’s (2002) previous research on the 1995 Chicago heat wave, in which he discovered that most of the 750-odd victims had died in isolation, served as a macabre catalyst that galvanized his initial foray into the rise of living alone. Going Solo thus begins by explaining the social changes that are leading to the rising propensity for solo living, and subsequently takes the reader through a series of life chapters; candidly chronicling the struggles, joys, and quirks of individuals living alone (a population that Klinenberg dubs “singletons” [p.4]). More importantly, he warns of the implications to merely brushing aside this epidemic of singletons as a social problem; a problematic view that echoes the woeful cries of…show more content…
230) – a field of research that links living alone with “the rise of loneliness, the collapse of civil society, and the demise of the common good” (p. 230). In defense of singletons, the author sets out to debunk these misleading myths surrounding a progressively autonomous nation of individuals, and points towards solutions in the form of government and social welfare policies that act as a safety net for this growing demographic. He reasons that this is an irreversible demographic shift that must be embraced, as society celebrates “the emergence of the individual, the rising status of women, the growth of cities, the development of communications technologies, and the expansion of the life course” (p.

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