Going Solo: A Conversation about Cities, Social Policy, and Public Sociology with Eric Klinenberg and Sudhir Venkatesh

Date: 2/21/2012
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, 2nd Fl.
295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604  map

Going Solo: A Conversation about Cities, Social Policy, and Public Sociology with Eric Klinenberg and Sudhir Venkatesh
Co-sponsored by the Craft of Ethnography Project, a joint initiative of the Columbia University Department of Sociology and the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge.

The incredible rise of living alone is the greatest social change that we’ve failed to name and identify, let alone understand. In 1950, four million Americans lived alone. Today, more 32 million do, accounting for 28 percent of American households. The rates of living alone are even higher in urban areas. More than 40 percent of all households consist of just one person in Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. In Manhattan, the figure is nearly 50 percent.

Eric Klinenberg examines the seismic impact of these changes in his new book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (Penguin Press). In this public event, the renowned Columbia University sociologist and best-selling author Sudhir Venkatesh joins Klinenberg in conversation.  They will discuss Going Solo, the state of contemporary cities, and the reemergence of public sociology.


Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Media, Culture, and Communications at New York University, and editor of the journal Public Culture. His books include Heat Wave:  A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicagowhich won six scholarly and literary prizes and is currently being adapted as a feature documentary, and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media. In addition to his scholarly publications, Klinenberg has contributed to the New York Times MagazineRolling StoneFortune, the Wall Street Journal, the London Review of Books, and This American Life.  (Listen to a story from Going Solo on a podcast from This American Life).

Sudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology, and the Committee on Global Thought, at Columbia University. His most recent book is Gang Leader for a Day (Penguin Press), which received a Best Book award from The Economist and is currently being translated into several languages. His previous books include Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor (Harvard University Press, 2006) about illegal economies in Chicago, and American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto (2000) about life in Chicago public housing. Venkatesh’s editorial writings have appeared in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, and his stories have appeared in This American Life, WIRED, and on National Public Radio.

A book signing with both speakers will immediately follow the conversation.  Both books will be available for sale.