The Pursuit of the Solitary

Mark J. Kay, Sophie A. Kay, Fiona Cheetham, Haiyan Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical distancing and masking due to COVID-19 were initially thought to magnify isolation and lone-liness. Instead, pursuits of the solitary have become socially recognized, valued, and positively appraised as engaging experiences of intense concentration. Solitude that is fostered by direct personal agency, individual choice, and commit-ment includes a diverse range of repetitive, self-regulating, and goal directed activities. These are theorized to constitute disciplined practices that are importantly connected to periods of cognitive and emotional self-development. These spawn positive emotions that function as ethical safeguards to the hazards of conformity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


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