Readers have been alerting me to the new UK study that calculated the extra money it costs to live solo compared to living as a couple. I’ll get to that topic in a later post. As is my custom, I went to the original report to see what it actually did say, and discovered some other findings that surprised and impressed me. So far as I can tell, they have not made it into the media.
[This is cross-posted from Living Single, with an added note at the end, thanks to a great reader comment.]
[More evidence that your blogger is technologically-challenged: I don’t know why the format is weird after you click “read the rest of this entry.” I’ll try to get it fixed.]
I just realized that my post office box and e-mail inbox contain the makings of a short course (as brief as this one post) on stereotypes and misperceptions of people who are single. The pitches I receive from publicists and from people pitching their own products capture a lot about the reign of singlism in contemporary society.
Plenty of people discover this one thing about me – I write this Living Single column for Psychology Today. Then, without thinking they need to read a single word of any of my posts, nor a sampling of anything else I’ve ever written, they are sure they know what would interest the readers of my blog on single life.
[To introduce new readers to the kinds of singles topics I like to address, I posted the Top 20 Posts from My Living Single Blog that I write for Psychology Today. There were a few entries that should have been on the list that I skipped over because they were not about singles. This is a cross-posting of one of them, “Do relationships need lies to survive?” It is an example of one of the kinds of topics I’ll address here in the LIARS AND THEIR LIES section of this blog.]
Recently at Psychology Today, I asked, “Are Americans becoming more and more isolated?” So many thoughtful comments were posted there and emailed to me that I thought I’d rewrite the post with those in mind. Instead, though, I’ll just summarize the original post briefly (you can read the whole thing here) so I can get to readers’ comments more quickly. I won’t get to all of the points (or at least not in this post), so let me thank JSS, Alan, UpperWorks, Anony-mouse, Psyngle, Lauri, Deb01, and everyone who emailed me for taking the time to share your observations.
Thanks to the work of the eminent sociologist, Professor Claude S. Fischer, I’ve known for a while that the 2006 media panic – about how Americans are supposedly growing increasingly isolated – was overwrought. When I saw a fellow Psychology Today blogger refer to the findings of that original study as uncontested truth, I knew it was time to give some attention to lots of other research suggesting a quite different conclusion. In preparing my piece, I contacted Claude Fischer (someone I’ve never met) and got a very gracious reply. Yesterday I published the post, Are Americans Becoming More and More Isolated? at Psych Today. I’ve gotten some feedback since then, from the comments section and by email, and will publish a revised version at this blog sometime soon.
While researching the piece on the myth of social isolation, I came across Professor Fischer’s blog for his new book, Made in America: A Social History of American Character and Culture. I especially loved his post, “Inventing Friendship.” He kindly agreed to let me cross-post it here.
I’ll have more to say about Professor Fischer and his Made in America book at the end of this post. For now, on to the heart of the matter.