Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Loneliness

Current Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 24-40

Loneliness then and now: Reflections on social and emotional alienation in everyday life

  • Ami RokachAffiliated withInstitute for the Study and Treatment of Psychosocial Stress Email author 

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Abstract

Loneliness, social isolation, and emotional alienation have become an all-too-common way of life to millions of North Americans; to those who succumb to it and become immobilized, to those who are in the midst of their life's race and do not want to admit it, and to many of those who seek psychological intervention for problems which are seemingly unrelated to loneliness.

Being so fundamental to human experience, loneliness merits a closer look and examination of its effects on daily living and its relation to time and space. The present paper describes the various facets of loneliness and looks at man's search for refuge from its devastating pain—a search that is as old as the history of man, and which transcends geographical, cultural, and religious boundaries.