The Crisis of Connection

9781479802784: Hardback
Release Date: 21st August 2018

9781479819294: Paperback
Release Date: 21st August 2018

9781479867103: PDF
Release Date: 21st August 2018

8 black and white illustrations

Dimensions: 152.4 x 229

Number of Pages: 544

NYU Press

The Crisis of Connection

Roots, Consequences, and Solutions

Hardback / £77.00
Paperback / £24.99
PDF / £28.00

As seen in The New York Times

Illuminates the roots and consequences of and offers solutions to the widespread alienation and disconnection that beset modern society

Since the beginning of the 21st century, people have become increasingly disconnected from themselves, each other, and the world around them. A “crisis of connection” stemming from growing alienation, social isolation, and fragmentation characterizes modern society. The signs of this “crisis of connection” are everywhere, from decreasing levels of empathy and trust, to burgeoning cases of suicide, depression and loneliness. The astronomical rise in inequality around the world has contributed to the critical nature of this moment.

To delve into the heart of the crisis, leading researchers and practitioners draw from the science of human connection to tell a five-part story about its roots, consequences, and solutions. In doing so, they reveal how we, in modern society, have been captive to a false story about who we are as human. This false narrative that takes individualism as a universal truth, has contributed to many of the problems that we currently face. The new story now emerging from across the human sciences underscores our social and emotional capacities and needs. The science also reveals the ways in which the privileging of the self over relationships and of individual success over the common good as well as the perpetuation of dehumanizing stereotypes have led to a crisis of connection that is now widespread. Finally, the practitioners in the volume present concrete solutions that show ways we can create a more just and humane world.

In these divisive times, The Crisis of Connection is an essential resource for bridging the political, religious, identity-based, and ideological gaps among individuals and communities. By exposing the barriers that stand in the way of our human desire to live in connection with ourselves and each other, this book illuminates concrete pathways to enhancing our awareness of our common humanity.

Niobe Way, Ed. D., is Professor of Applied Psychology in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. She is also the founder of the Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity ( and the past President for the Society for Research on Adolescence. She received her doctorate from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and was an NIMH postdoctoral fellow in the psychology department at Yale University. Way’s has been studying the social and emotional development of adolescents in cultures around the world for the past three decades. In addition to almost a hundred academic journal publications and dozens of blogs written for mainstream media outlets, Way has written numerous books that include her sole-authored: Everyday Courage: The Lives and Stories of Urban Teenagers (NYU Press, 1998); and Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection (Harvard University Press, 2011). Her co-edited or co-authored books include: Urban Girls: Resisting Stereotypes, Creating Identities (NYU Press, 1996); Adolescent Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood (NYU Press, 2004). and her award-winning Growing up Fast: Transitions to Adulthood among Inner-City Adolescent Mothers (Erlbaum Press, 2001). Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, The National Science Foundation, The William T. Grant Foundation, The Spencer Foundation, and by numerous other foundations. Way is an internationally recognized leader in the study of social and emotional development and adolescence as well as in the use of mixed methods.

Alisha Ali is Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University and the co-director of PACH. She is co-editor (with Dana Crowley Jack) of Silencing the Self Across Cultures: Depression and Gender in the Social World.
Carol Gilligan is University Professor at NYU, where she initiated the Radical Listening Project and the co-founder of PACH. She isthe author of In a Different Voice and numerous other books including The Birth of Pleasure and Joining the Resistance.
Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA and the co-founder of PAC H. His most recent books are: Excellence Through Equity and Race, Equity and Education.

In creating a volume examining the crisis of human connection, the editors gathered an impressive list of interdisciplinary contributors … Written in an accessible style, the book is a must read for any scholar interested in the science of human connection. The volume is a particularly valuable tool for anyone interested in solutions to the current crisis of connection.


For our own shortsighted reasons - protection, safety, greed, ignorance - we have perfected a dangerously disconnected and dehumanizing set of discourses and practices. This profoundly important book suggests that our innate human determination to bridge differences and live in vulnerable, loving relationships is the antidote to rising fear and anxiety and the best chance we have to solve the wicked problems before us.

Lyn Mikel Brown,author of Powered By Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists