All by myself: Is loneliness a social problem?

Britain has been dubbed the ‘loneliness capital of Europe’ by the Office for National Statistics, while loneliness is said to be as big a public health problem as obesity or cancer. The decline of community life from the traditional family, churches, to political parties and social clubs is experienced all too personally, especially by the elderly and the disabled. But is it right to treat loneliness as a social problem or is it too subjective to do so? And is the experience of being alone necessarily negative or are we today too ill-equipped to handle solitude? Should we also be worried about a host of lonely ‘involuntarily celibate’ young men becoming attracted to the alt-right?

Filmed at the Battle of Ideas 2017, the speakers are Beverly Marshall, Laura Alcock-Ferguson, Abbot Cristopher Jamison and Josh Lowe. The chair is Dave Clements.

Battle of Ideas session details