The Cult of the Individual: New Yorker Reviews Eric Klinenberg's Book
Single living is a trend that's here to stay: “Klinenberg’s data suggested that single living was not a social aberration but an inevitable outgrowth of mainstream liberal values. Women’s liberation, widespread urbanization, communications technology, and increased longevity—these four trends lend our era its cultural contours, and each gives rise to solo living.”
It makes sense that more people are flying solo, and that they’re happy to do it. In fact, it’s what we have been taught to do:
In his talks, Eric Klinenberg discusses the broad implications of this new trend toward solo living as it affects, disrupts, and creates new opportunities in various industries.
Klinenberg calls it “the cult of the individual”—[it] may be the closest thing American culture has to a common ideal, and it’s the premise on which a lot of single people base their lives. If you’re ambitious and you’ve had to navigate a tough job market, alone can seem the best way to approach adulthood. Those who live by themselves are light on their feet (they’re able to move as the work demands) and flexible with their time (they have no meals to come home for). They tend to be financially resilient, too, since no one else is relying on their income. They are free to climb.