Brown Alum Discusses Trend of Living Alone in the US

September 28, 2012
Book cover of "Going Solo."

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Under 35 and single? You are not alone, literally and figuratively. In our co-sponsored book lecture and signing event on Thursday night, Eric Klinenberg '93 (Professor of Sociology, Public Policy and Media, Culture and Communications at New York University) discussed the rising trend of "singletons" in the US, as based on his new book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.

As Klinenberg notes, a momentous cultural change is going on largely unnoticed: in record numbers, people are choosing to live alone. As social animals, human beings have always lived in groups, whether in nuclear or extended families. For most humans, life has followed the same cycle: grow up with parents, find a mate, and raise children. According to Klinenberg’s book, Going Solo, over the past 50 years that has changed. Now nearly half of all American adults are single, and 28% of all households have just one occupant. 

However, living alone and being alone are distinct, according to Klinenberg, who said he has found that singletons are in fact more social than their counterparts. In our Internet age people are never really alone thanks to Facebook and other sites.

This event was sponsored by the Department of Sociology, Population Studies & Training Center and the Brown Club of Rhode Island.

See the Daily Herald article for more information.