Going Solo Book Summary By Eric Klinenberg

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Going Solo (2012) is a captivating book written by sociologist Eric Klinenberg.

It's about understanding the social forces that are causing a rising number of adults to live alone, and to discover the benefits of such lifestyles.

Klinenberg analyzes extensively the history and current trends of solo living and dives deeper into various conditions under which people without family or roommates can make it work.

A must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the changing culture of domestic life!

Going Solo Book

Book Name: Going Solo (The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone)

Author(s): Eric Klinenberg

Rating: 3.6/5

Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Categories: Society & Culture

Author Bio

Eric Klinenberg is a renowned sociologist and professor of sociology, who has contributed to various publications such as the New Yorker, Time magazine, and the New York Times.

He is also the director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

His highly acclaimed book, Going Solo, covers topics ranging from isolation in modern societies to the phenomenon of living alone.

His other titles include Heatwave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago - further strengthening his scholarly credentials in the field.


In recent years, the single lifestyle has become increasingly popular.

If you’ve ever wondered why so many people are choosing to go solo, this section will shed some light on that question.

You’ll find out about the advantages and potential challenges of being single as well as what society can do to improve the lives of singletons.

You’ll also learn about how going solo became a totally normal, accepted way of life today – including examining some examples around the world such as Greenwich Village in New York City, where women chose to live alone back in the ’90s, and Sweden where singles often have better support than elsewhere.

So if you want to find out more about the lives of singletons then this is definitely an excellent source of information!

The Rise Of Being Single: How Women Gaining Independence And Technology Changed The Way We Live

Since the 1950s, the number of adults living solo has increased dramatically.

In 1950, only around 20% of Americans were single; however that rate had more than doubled by 2000 with half the population claiming to be single.

A key factor in this change is due to women’s role in the workforce.

During 1950-2000, the number of working women in America rose from 18 million to 66 million!

This significant increase encouraged financial independence as well as a higher standing in society, further enabling single adults to take on their own lives.

Technology has also played an important part in contributing to this shift.

As we are all so connected via social media and the internet, we don’t need another person around us to socialize or feel less lonely.

Home communication technology has allowed us to have contact with other people without needing them physically present.

Furthermore, population shifts toward urban centers have made it easier for people to find independence and gain access to resources as well as potential jobs.

With all these factors taken into account, becoming a solo adult is now possible for many more individuals than it was before.

The Advantages Of Living Alone – From The Pioneers Of Solitude To The Young Professionals Of Today

Living alone as a lifestyle choice has deep roots in urban culture that can be traced back to the Greenwich Village of the 1930s.

This was one of the first singleton communities, a neighborhood with a majority of residents who chose to live on their own.

People flocked to these big cities because they were looking for work and freedom, seeking out those anonymous streets and spaces where individualists could meet like-minded people and exchange ideas.

Nowadays, living on your own is seen as an opportunity to advance career goals – from banking, law and medicine – since it reduces distractions that can keep you from working hard.

It also offers time for reflection and relaxation after long hours in the corporate world climb up the ladder .

The early singletons set the trend for living solo, paving way for its continued popularity and showcasing its benefits.

Living alone gives you freedom away from judgement but also brings energy you need to succeed – no wonder it’s such an attractive option in today’s overpopulated cities!

The Benefits Of Solo Living: Autonomy, Choice, And A Sense Of Freedom And Dignity

Solo Living

Living alone can have lots of advantages at any stage of life.

First of all, it helps build up confidence and autonomy, especially for young adults who are just starting out and for divorcees looking to move on from a lonely relationship.

Going solo gives you control over your own life and allows you to do things that make you truly happy without considering the interests or abilities of a partner.

Furthermore, single people have the freedom to pursue activities independently like mountain climbing or spending the weekend home writing.

Beyond this, elderly people get to keep their sense of freedom and dignity throughout their twilight years by choosing not to remarry or move in with their family.

Many widows don’t want to end up as caregivers for another husband, plus living with children isn’t necessarily preferable either.

Maintaining independence deep into old age can give these elderly women an important sense of purpose which can extend their lives.

In short, there are a lot of advantages associated with going solo at any stage in life!

The Need To Foster Lasting Social Connections Is Greater For Men Than Women

Single men are more likely to become isolated than single women due to the socialization and expectations placed upon them from a young age.

Men tend to be raised with a competitive nature and machismo, which translates into less ability for support and making connections later in life.

Women, on the other hand, are encouraged to foster relationships in which they can rely on each other for support.

The consequences of this difference in socialization are evidenced in elderly women who have strong support systems; they have someone to turn to when they need help.

Meanwhile, single men rarely feel that they have such an ally.

Additionally, single men are less likely to get involved in community activities – activities that open opportunities for connecting with new friends.

Often these opportunities conflict with their fear of revealing their low standing or admitting past decisions they may be ashamed of

Fortunately an organization by the name of Common Ground (now Breaking Ground) is working on renovating SROs around the country so as to make them more hospitable; inviting spaces for socializing and spending time together with family.

Doing so may encourage those living within SROs to connect with one another, creating the very support system that is needed within this community impacted by high levels of isolation.

We Should Take Cues From Sweden And Encourage An Individualized Way Of Living For People Of All Ages


Aging is a natural part of the human experience, and it’s important to support those who are aging while they’re alone.

Special services should be developed to protect elderly people from loneliness and isolation, such as improved nursing homes and access to assisted living facilities.

Nursing homes should become more than just places that elderly people have to reluctantly move into; they should provide quality care in a socially supportive environment.

Unfortunately, far too often nursing homes are run with cost-cutting measures that leave residents feeling isolated both from other residents and from the outside world.

Assisted living should be an accessible choice for all people regardless of financial status.

This housing option allows for older people to experience independence with the added bonus of a social atmosphere that can make their lives longer and healthier.

One country doing particularly well in this area is Sweden.

It offers top-notch social welfare programs, excellent public health care and cooperative housing projects that pair up younger individuals with older ones, creating a vibrant community for everyone involved.

In fact, Swedish parents sometimes plan ahead by securing state-owned single dwelling dwellings for their children at birth – so if you’re looking for best practices as far as aging singles go, you won’t get better than Sweden!

It’s time we take steps to create individualized ways of living that benefit all seniors–regardless of marital status or familial support–in the US too.

Wrap Up

At the end of Going Solo, the message that is left for readers is clear – single living does not have to be lonely, and it actually has several key benefits.

More and more people across the world are now choosing this lifestyle and their governments should help support them by investing in social services.

If you take away any insight from this book, it’s that there are many different ways to live solo and still enjoy a fulfilling, happy life.

Living alone means being able to create your own space and environment where you can truly thrive; something which should be embraced rather than feared.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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