L2′s annual Innovation Forum will be held tomorrow at the Morgan Library. The full day, TED style forum will feature experts speaking to a variety of innovations in digital marketing, commerce, and social media. Below we highlight one of our speakers, Eric Klinenberg who will give a talk on “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.”

Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology; Public Policy; and Media, Culture, and Communications at New York University. He is a prominent public sociologist and has published much research on topics surrounding media, urban security, disaster preparedness, and crisis communication. In addition, Klinenberg is the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002), as well as the editor of Cultural Production in a Digital Age and of the journal Public Culture.

In his latest work, Klinenberg studies the rise of single adults that live alone — from 22% in 1950 to more than 50% today — and argues that this is not a fleeting trend but a significant demographic shift that is transforming American culture, business, and politics. He finds four main factors that are driving this change: the rise of women in the labor force, urbanization, increasing life expectancy, and the communications revolution. He then argues that these factors also make living alone an ideal choice for many Americans during different periods of their adulthood. For example, consider the massive entry of women into the work force during the last half century: aside from delaying marriage, many young professionals may prefer living alone for privacy, independence or to signal their success. Similarly, working has allowed many women the ability to leave unhappy marriages — another instance where solo living is the preferable scenario. In other areas of the study, Klinenberg finds that single adults are often more social than their co-habituating counterparts and in some cases, even enjoy better mental health. Despite widespread negative perception of single living, Klinenberg’s research shows that this societal change is actually nothing to worry about.

To register for the L2 Innovation Forum, click on the link below. Registration is complimentary for L2 Members.

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