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Living single • Brooklyn Paper

Living single

Photo by Rona Talcott

One is more like a singular sensation than the loneliest number these days.

At least that’s what sociology superstar Eric Klinenberg argues in his new book, “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” Klinenberg will be joined by authors Kate Bolick and Daniel Smith for a booze-fueled discussion of the single life, co-sponsored by N+1 Magazine at powerHouse Arena on March 6, fittingly called, Singles Going Steady.

“Living alone is the biggest social change in the last 50 years that we’ve failed to name or identify,” said Klinenberg. “I came to see the rise of living alone as this incredible social experiment, and one that was far more interesting than we typically believe.”

Klinenberg became interested in the topic of living alone while working on a book about a particularly brutal heat wave in Chicago, and how seniors living on their own fared in the harsh weather. In his research, he discovered that, in fact, living alone is now as much a symbol of agency and economic stability than it is a by-product of so-called spinsterhood.

Similarly, Kate Bolick, who penned a cover story in the Atlantic Monthly last year about living alone as a symbol of changing social mores that include an increasingly older average marrying age, and economic status of women, believes that snagging a one-bedroom apartment is more liberating now than it’s ever been.

“It was an eye-opening process to try and wrap my eye around this large, multi-faceted conversation about our moment,” Bolick said. Bolick attributes the rise of feminism and the knowledge economy, to which women are typically better suited than men, and increasing educational opportunities and higher wages for women in the workforce as driving factors of the vast numbers of women choosing to stay single. “It’s brought us to a place that nobody anticipated.”

Singles Going Steady at powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. between Water and Front streets in DUMBO, (718) 230-4530]. For info, visit www.powerhousearena.com.

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