Solitude across Cultures
For young adults, solitude can be a space for self-discovery, for emotional regulation, or for creativity. These themes have been particularly described in literature in Western culture, particularly through the works by Christopher Long and colleagues. However, we do not know whether these themes reflect solitary experiences of those in non-Western cultures.
For this project, I collaborate with Aishwarya Iyer and Tong Zhou to interview young adults at universities in China, India, and the United States. We asked them questions about their time in solitude, their positive and negative experiences in solitude, and when they might want to be alone or might not want to be alone. Each research group codes the interviews independently. Our aim is to identify any similarities and differences across culture in how young adults experience their time alone.