The Lonely American
Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first CenturyBook - 2009
The personal and societal effects of the unheralded epidemic of social isolation in America In our culture it's more socially acceptable to be depressed than to be lonely. Yet loneliness is the inevitable byproduct of our frenetic contemporary lifestyle. In this marvelously acute critique of how we live, psychiatrists Jacqueline Olds and Richard S. Schwartz show how the American lifestyle leads to social isolation. With a work ethic that emphasizes productivity over personal relationships and a multiplying menu of electronic diversions and distractions, Americans are responding by isolating themselves from an overstimulating world. But even as people seek respite from public life, they are shocked to find themselves feeling left out. Research shows that when people feel socially excluded, their cognition deteriorates and they become self-destructive and hostile. These ideas have been neglected in the world of psychology and psychiatry, but a socially isolated core population has now grown too large to be ignored. Calling on their extensive clinical experience, new social surveys (including the 2004 General Social Survey and the Pew Internet and American Life Project), and recent research on the physiological and cognitive effects of social exclusion, Olds and Schwartz uncover the ripple effects of social isolation in areas as varied as physical health, children's emotional problems, substance abuse, violent crime--even global warming. They conclude that electronic connection is no substitute for face-to-face interaction.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c2009
Branch Call Number: 302.545 O44
Characteristics: 228 p. ; 24 cm