Loneliness and love in late modernity: Sites of tension and resistance
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Loneliness is one of the most important emotions to be impacted by the rise of late modernity. As noted in Chapter 1 (Patulny & Olson), late modernity is transforming the way people relate to each other, not only in terms of separating them from each other, but in creating novel spaces to form new connections. Anthony Giddens (1991; 1992) describes the transformation of intimacy, and Zygmunt Bauman (2005) the liquefaction of traditional ties and social bonds. However, inasmuch as these changes might render us lonelier than ever, they also offer the opportunity for acts of resistance, and to form new social connections that may reduce loneliness. To understand this, we must recognise the difference between social and emotional loneliness (Weiss 1982), which has been conceptualised as the difference between actual contact with others versus a perceived lack of sufficient contact with others. Loneliness is more likely to be ameliorated from the making and maintaining of good quality connections with others than from merely building more social connections (Franklin 2012).