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Palgrave Macmillan

Living Alone

Globalization, Identity and Belonging

ISBN 9780230271920
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life

In Northern Europe almost half of households consist of one person. Rates of living alone are lower in the Global South but the trend is still on the increase. Prevalent first among the elderly, living alone then becomes common at ages associated with partners and children. Fears about the end of family and community combine with stereotypes, the 'sad and lonely' or 'selfish singles', in popular depictions. This groundbreaking and highly original study brings evidence to the core debates about contemporary social change in the context of globalization, exploring individualization and social connection, the future of family formation, consumption and identities, the relevance of place - rural or urban - in mobile worlds, sexuality, belonging and 'community', living arrangements and sustainability. This book presents a systematic sociological analysis of the growing trend of solo living across the globe, while also drawing on the voices of working-age men and women living in urban and rural areas in the UK.

Lynn Jamieson is Professor of Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and is a founding director of the interdisciplinary consortium, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. Her publications include a second edition of Intimacy: Personal Relationships in Modern Societies.
Roona Simpson is Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, UK. Her publications include Contemporary Spinsterhood in Britain: Gender, Partnership Status and Social Change and Researching Families and Relationships: Reflections on Process (co-edited with Lynn Jamieson and Ruth Lewis).

1. Introduction


2. Geographies and Biographies of Living Alone

3. Solo-Living with and without Partnering and Parenting


4. The Meaning of Home Alone

5. Living Alone, Consuming Alone?


6. Solo-Living and Connectedness

7. Place, Mobility And Migration

8. The Future of Living Alone


"Living Alone sets out to investigate the rising incidence of solo-living against a background of research on households that assumes the multi-person household as a unit of analysis. Furthermore, it aims to challenge and deconstruct normative assumptions about solo-living narrating the diverse trajectories, lived experiences and biographies of those living alone. By locating this within broader sociological theories concerned on the one hand with the rise of individualism, and on the other hand with community and sociality, the book presents a nuanced picture of an often stereotyped and misunderstood household arrangement." - BSA Sociology Journal
"Lynn Jamieson and Roona Simpson offer the most comprehensive review and analysis of solo living to date'. - Bella de Paulo, Project Scientist, University of California, USA
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