Making Sense of The Lonely Crowd, Today: Youth, Emotions and Loneliness in a Networked Society

  • Rosalina Pisco CostaEmail author
  • Paulo Infante
  • Anabela Afonso
  • Gonçalo Jacinto


One hundred and ten years after the birth of David Riesman (1909–2002), and almost 70 after the publication of The Lonely Crowd (1950), this chapter revisits the main contributions of such a work for a current reading of youth in a networked society. Anchored on data collected from a representative sample of students in secondary schools in Évora, a city in the south of Portugal (Europe), the chapter makes use of statistical analysis to discuss if and how today society impels young individuals to experience loneliness, by specifically referring to those integrating, avoiding or engaging “the crowd”. Ultimately, the paper seeks to advance understanding on the contemporary and globalized relations between emotions and loneliness, as Riesman wisely put it.



Rosalina Costa is affiliated researcher at CICS.NOVA.UÉvora—The Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, a research center funded by FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (project UID/SOC/04647/2019 (CICS.NOVA)). Paulo Infante, Anabela Afonso and Gonçalo Jacinto are members of CIMA—Research Center in Mathematics and Applications, also funded by FCT (project UID/MAT/04674/2019 (CIMA)). The authors gratefully acknowledge the support along all phases of the study development provided by the University of Évora, the research centers CICS.NOVA.UÉvora and CIMA, and the Évora City Council. The authors are also grateful for the kind assistance and fruitful collaboration gained through the close work with José Conde and Maria Luísa Policarpo, senior technicians of the Division of Youth and Sports of the Évora City Council, who were vital for accomplishing the work within the deadlines and objectives originally outlined.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalina Pisco Costa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paulo Infante
    • 2
  • Anabela Afonso
    • 2
  • Gonçalo Jacinto
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade de ÉvoraDepartment of Sociology and CICS.NOVA.UÉvora—Interdisciplinary Centre of Social SciencesÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.Universidade de ÉvoraDepartment of Mathematics and CIMA—Research Center in Mathematics and ApplicationsÉvoraPortugal

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