1/1
7 files

The rise of living alone and loneliness in history

journal contribution
posted on 16.03.2017, 11:38 by K. D. M. Snell
This article connects two current debates: the rise of single-person households or of ‘solitaries’, and the so-called ‘loneliness epidemic’. It raises questions about how these are associated, via social-science literature on loneliness as a social, contextual and subjective experience, and findings in that literature about the relevance of lone-person households. The article is concerned to explore the history of living alone as a form of family structure, via analysis of European, North American and Japanese pre-industrial and industrial listings of inhabitants, and the post-1851 British censuses to 2011. It also does this cartographically via British mapping of lone-person households in 1851, 1881, 1911 and 2011. It documents dramatic rise across many countries in single-person households during the twentieth century, notably since the 1960s. Many pre-industrial settlements had no single-person households, and the average was around 5 percent of households. The current western proportions of such households (e.g. 31 percent in the UK) are wholly unprecedented historically, even reaching to 60 percent or more of households in some modern European and North American cities. The discussion examines this trend – which has very wide ramifications – and raises issues about its relevance for modern problems of loneliness as a social and welfare concern.

History

Citation

Social History, 2017, 42 (1), pp. 2-28

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of History

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Social History

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

issn

0307-1022

eissn

1470-1200

Acceptance date

07/08/2016

Copyright date

2017

Available date

06/07/2018

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03071022.2017.1256093

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en