HoMe PaGe

Solitude

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Recently, however, researchers like Robert J. Coplan and Julie C. Bowker have rejected the notion that solitary practices and solitude are inherently dysfunctional and undesirable. In their book The Handbook of Solitude, the authors note how solitude can allow for enhancements in self-esteem, generates clarity, and can be highly therapeutic. In the edited work, Coplan and Bowker invite not only fellow psychology colleagues to chime in on this issue, but they also invite a variety of other faculty from different disciplines to address the issue. Arguably the most interesting of these alternative views comes from Fong's chapter on how solitude is more than just a personal trajectory for one to take inventory on life; it also yields a variety of important sociological cues that allow the protagonist to navigate through society, even highly politicized societies. In the process, political prisoners in solitary confinement were examined to see how they concluded their views on society. Thus Fong, Coplan, and Bowker conclude that a person's experienced solitude generates immanent and personal content as well as collective and sociological content, depending on context.

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