Eric Klinenberg - Palaces for the People

Eric Klinenberg - Palaces for the People

Monday, Oct 07, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Southface Institute
241 Pine Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane and author Eric Klinenberg engage in a fireside chat about Klinenberg's book "Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life." 

A Cappella will have copies of the book available for purchase on site. Tickets cost $20 per person, with proceeds to benefit Soccer in the Streets and Southface Institute. Clicking the "Buy Tickets" button below will direct you to the Southface website.

About the Book

An eminent sociologist and bestselling author offers an inspiring blueprint for rebuilding our fractured society.

We are living in a time of deep divisions. Americans are sorting themselves along racial, religious, and cultural lines, leading to a level of polarization that the country hasn’t seen since the Civil War. Pundits and politicians are calling for us to come together, to find common purpose. But how, exactly, can this be done?

In "Palaces for the People," Eric Klinenberg suggests a way forward. He believes that the future of democratic societies rests not simply on shared values but on shared spaces: the libraries, childcare centers, bookstores, churches, synagogues, and parks where crucial, sometimes life-saving connections, are formed. These are places where people gather and linger, making friends across group lines and strengthening the entire community. Klinenberg calls this the “social infrastructure”: When it is strong, neighborhoods flourish; when it is neglected, as it has been in recent years, families and individuals must fend for themselves.

Klinenberg takes us around the globe—from a floating school in Bangladesh to an arts incubator in Chicago, from a soccer pitch in Queens to an evangelical church in Houston—to show how social infrastructure is helping to solve some of our most pressing challenges: isolation, crime, education, addiction, political polarization, and even climate change.

Richly reported, elegantly written, and ultimately uplifting, "Palaces for the People" urges us to acknowledge the crucial role these spaces play in civic life. Our social infrastructure could be the key to bridging our seemingly unbridgeable divides—and to safeguarding democracy.

About the Author

Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, and editor of the journal Public Culture. He’s the coauthor, with Aziz Ansari, of The New York Times bestseller "Modern Romance." Klinenberg’s previous books include "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone," "Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago," and "Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media." In addition to his books and scholarly articles, Klinenberg has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME, and The Washington Post.