The Lonely American eBook ¼ The Lonely PDF/EPUB or

The Lonely American [EPUB] ✻ The Lonely American Author Jacqueline Olds – In today's world it is acceptable to be depressed than to be lonely yet loneliness appears to be the inevitable byproduct of our frenetic contemporary lifestyle According to the 2004 General Social Su In today's world it is acceptable to be depressed than to be lonely yet loneliness appears to be the inevitable byproduct of our frenetic contemporary lifestyle According to the General Social Survey one out of four Americans talked to no one about something of importance to them during the last six months Another remarkable fact emerged from the US Census people are living alone today than at any point in the country's history fully percent of households consist of one person only In this crucial look at one of America's few The Lonely PDF/EPUB or remaining taboo subjects loneliness Drs Jacueline Olds and Richard S Schwartz set out to understand the cultural imperatives psychological dynamics and physical mechanisms underlying social isolation In The Lonely American cutting edge research on the physiological and cognitive effects of social exclusion and emerging work in the neurobiology of attachment uncover startling sobering ripple effects of loneliness in areas as varied as physical health children's emotional problems substance abuse and even global warming Surprising new studies tell a grim truth about social isolation being disconnected diminishes happiness health and longevity; increases aggression; and correlates with increasing rates of violent crime Loneliness doesn't apply simply to single people either today's busy parents cocoon themselves by devoting most of their non work hours to children leaving little time for friends and other forms of social contact and unhealthily relying on the marriage to fulfill all social needs As a core population of socially isolated individuals and families continues to balloon in size it is important than ever to understand the effects of a culture that idealizes busyness and self reliance It's time to bring loneliness a very real and little discussed social epidemic with frightening conseuences out into the open and find a way to navigate the tension between freedom and connection in our lives.

10 thoughts on “The Lonely American

  1. M0rningstar M0rningstar says:

    An even toned book on a timely and important topic The Lonely American advances a thoughtful thesis our efforts at stepping back from the light speed hubbub of our daily lives to reconnect with what's important might inadvertently exacerbate our disconnectThe authors provide some good insight on the psychological evolutionary and very simplified neurobiological dimensions of bond formation They also provide a good explanation of social exclusion and its effects such as increased aggression towards surprisingly both the in group and out group The sections on overparenting as a result of familial seclusion the parentification of children in socially isolated small households the pathologising of loneliness and the dangers of substituting the psychiatricrehabilitation network for social connections are all interesting and well put togetherNow that we've covered the good let's talk about the bad and the curiousThe bad consists of mainly some very glaring omissions and old fashioned assumptions Amidst the many many pages devoted to marriage same sex marriages are accorded a single sentence People and their households are either single or married There is virtually no mention of unmarried lived in partners romantically committed people who are still living separately perhaps pending marriage perhaps not or households whose members are related but not by marriage The authors also so generally euate living alone with social isolation seemingly forgetting that group arrangements can be just as lonely and isolating eg boarding houses institutionsIn some instances the arguments are slightly self contradictory The book takes great pains to point out that the increasing rate of marital failures is one of the causes of worsening loneliness the implication being that being in a healthy lasting marriage is a good thing It also states that modern marriages those that don't end in divorce generally tend to be of better uality than those of decades past because spouses share and communicate Strangely the authors then lament how nowadays couples often neglect their wider social connections due to modern romantic ideals in which spouses are supposed to be entirely devoted to each other In contrast a married couple in the 1950s would still be expected to dine with the neighbors every week and the husband's boss once a month and to spend the whole Sunday at church etc This begs the uestion if marriage is so crucial to staving off loneliness then isn't increased time and effort poured into marriage to increase its uality a better bet than cultivating various external but shallow relationships? It can be debated either wayCuriously Alcoholics Anonymous gets several accolades for the instant support network it provides to its participants The authors go so far as to call it probably the most reliable antidote to loneliness ever invented in the USA Yet the fact that 12 step programs including AA are no effective at reducing alcohol abuse ostensibly their chief mission than the mere passage of time ie spontaneous remission is not mentioned Granted this is a sociology text about loneliness not substance abuse although the two are often closely tied as noted elsewhere in the book but a knitting group could provide a socializing network eually readily so why the repeated emphasis on AA? The authors also decry our culture's increasing focus on health and exercise to the detriment of nurturing our social bonds While there are certainly edge cases where fitness becomes a problematic obsession to pit regular workouts and healthy eating against relationships is patently bizarre In the final chapter the authors offer some ideas about what should be done Here one of the highlighted solutions is religion which speaks directly to the discontents that arise from a socially disconnected life and offers a cure While the authors allow that religion can be a divisive force as well this is done almost as an afterthought an abstraction Discussion of religion as a potent source of isolation a cause for social exclusion is oddly absent The ostracism or worse of people from minority faiths the LGBT community or of no religious affiliation by major religions goes completely unaddressed

  2. Alisa Alisa says:

    This book contains an excellent critiue of the cult of busyness that most of us are committed to and how that negatively affects our relationships I felt very convicted by my natural tendency to withdraw from the hectic world and isolate cocoon myself within my family and how that results in a self imposed loneliness that I later regret I highly recommend it it's a uick read because it's so interesting

  3. Oswald Oswald says:

    uotes I found interestinggossip plays the same role for humans that grooming behavior does for other primates It creates bonds between individuals tht go beyond the basic reproductive units of sexual partners and their offspring It creates groups P 65As group size increases so does the size of the neocortex P 6548 percent of all households on the island of Manhattan are one person households P 79Does time on the Internet replace other forms of social connection or does it supplement it P 98Music is unusual among all human activities for both its ubiuity and its antiuity No known human culture now or anytime in the recorded past lacked music P 105No music lover would ever take seriously the claim that a music video is the euivalent of a live performance P 106Social isolation is a common denominator among most families in which child abuse occurs P 124A person who has not seen a relationship weather the difficult times is a little likely to panic and take flight in moments of anger disillusionment or estrangement P 131An abundance of choices decreases rather than increases happiness P 138When people have lots of choices they worry about making the wrong choices That worry trumps the joyful sense of freedom P 138We all need the perspective of others to know who we are P 164

  4. Sarah Dale Sarah Dale says:

    Very readable and a well informed and interesting reflection on what is happening to many people in Western societies not just America Loneliness is often a taboo subject but can have a profound effect on how vulnerable we are to mental and physical ill health A very important topic I think

  5. Sue Sue says:

    If you feel like the only person in the United States with no one to talk to join the club In this psychological sociological look at the growing tendency to sever connections with other people we learn that one uarter of the households in this country are occupied by only one person and one uarter of the population say they have not talked to anyone about anything important to them for six months or longer Olds and Schwartz married Boston psychiatrists discuss the ways people step back from society the myth of the heroic outsider the effects of technology and social media the ways people try to fill the gap through substance abuse and the blurring of the lines between loneliness and mental illness It’s a heavy read but the book is full of important points For example people need other people to keep themselves from blowing problems out of proportion The authors note that therapists may provide a much needed person to talk to but it will always be a one sided relationship One of my favorite uotes cites Virginia Woolf’s famous cry for “a room of one’s one” then adds “She also walked into a river with stones in her pockets” I know the feeling This book is an important contribution to the study of social disconnection in the US and beyond

  6. Tabitha Gallman Tabitha Gallman says:

    I can't recommend this book enough It is written by two clinical professors of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School From an appropriate perspective the doctors have shared their research on the subject of loneliness within our culture The doctors discovered through data collected from stories of patients that a pattern was emerging concerning loneliness and the ill effect it has holistically and culturally The book discusses so many aspects of loneliness including the stigma around it the ripple effects isolation can cause and much Not only is this a very informative and interesting read for any level reader but I think it should be a necessary tool for anyone going into any humanities studies

  7. Viewpoints Radio Viewpoints Radio says:

    Everyone needs some alone time in their lives Although often times alone time may be nice research finds that too much alone time can affect our mental health Loneliness and social isolation can have significant effects on our physical health and also increase the risk of death Jacueline Olds and Dr Richard Schwartz dive in to the lasting effects of loneliness in this book We had the opportunity to speak with Dr Richard Schwartz co author of this book to discuss loneliness and how we can improve our mental health through relationships To listen to the full podcast check out this link

  8. James Ruley James Ruley says:

    Robert Putnam’s book “Bowling Alone” sparked a multitude of books discussing the dissolution of communal bonds in America “The Lonely American” is one of those books This work discusses how Americans have become lonely through a combination of busyness individualism and self reliance While this book does not condemn “being alone” it critiues the idol that our culture has made of isolation and suggests that many of our problems would be alleviated through forging stronger bonds with other This book is highly readable and eminently timely A call to read and to change

  9. Ericka Clouther Ericka Clouther says:

    Being too busy is bad but even worse is checking out of social life When this happens people get depressed then use alcohol drugs or pharmaceuticals to deal with their depression Therapy is better but still unideal The authors admit this is a societal problem both being too busy and being isolated but then sort of vaguely suggest we just force ourselves to socialize

  10. Andrea Andrea says:

    Clearly explained reasons why being alone as often as we choose to be in american may not be serving us and ways that we can change I really appreciated the authors making space in the book to cover the myriad areas the alone trend impacts from our emotional and physical health to the impact on the planet as we become and of a consumer based culture

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