Hanging Out

The Psychology of Socializing

by Valerie Hill and Tennille Nicole Allen


A 2015 U.S. Census Bureau survey showed that when it comes to leisure time, other than watching television, Americans age 15 and over typically spend more time socializing than on any other activity.

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Cover image for Hanging Out

December 2017


Pages 196
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/Social

How does socializing and "hanging out" with friends play a key role in our lives? This book explores the world of socialization as it occurs in the United States as well as other cultures.

Socialization and enjoying downtime with friends is an activity we regularly participate in but often take for granted. "Hanging out" may be something most people don't ponder, but socializing across our lifetimes is a key part of the human experience, and it plays an important role in our lives at the individual level as well as in social interactions within larger numbers of people: groups of friends, communities, entire countries or cultures, and even global society.

A new title in Greenwood's The Psychology of Everyday Life series, Hanging Out: The Psychology of Socializing applies theories and concepts from psychology and sociology to explain the functions, benefits, harms, and consequences of how we spend our free time. Readers will learn about the many forms of socializing, discover why socializing is so important, and understand the positive and negative effects of socializing.

The information—presented in a straightforward manner that is easily understandable to high school students and general readers—is drawn from classical theory as well as contemporary, cutting-edge empirical studies, affording readers a well-rounded understanding of socializing based on theoretical and empirical evidence. The book explores topics such as the physical and psychological benefits of socializing, the "dark side" of socializing, how the established "protocols" of socialization differ across cultures, and the differing viewpoints surrounding current controversies with respect to socializing.


  • Examines the ways people socialize at various stages of life, what we give and get as we socialize, and how people socialize across race and gender lines
  • Explains the findings of classical and current research regarding socialization without using complex terminology
  • Enables readers to gain a better understanding of the importance of socializing and how it influences our everyday lives
  • Includes scenarios related to socializing that enable readers to contextualize scientific data and apply this information to real-world experiences
Series Description

The Psychology of Everyday Life

Many readers, especially teenagers and young adults, come to the psychology section of a library looking to find answers to questions they have about why they—or people they know—are feeling or acting a certain way. They don't care much about abstract, academic theories; they want to learn about real-world examples and applications that are relevant to them.

Each volume in The Psychology of Everyday Life examines the psychology behind a particular facet of everyday life—from exercising to eating, from relaxing to socializing with friends. Through an accessible format and easy-to-understand language, these books explore the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the psychology of these everyday contexts and examine key issues and debates related to them.
Author Info

Valerie Hill, PhD, is associate professor and the undergraduate program director in the department of psychology at Lewis University, Romeoville, IL. Her scholarly interests include children's and adolescents' understanding of social relationships, college student learning, and best teaching practices.

Tennille Nicole Allen, PhD, is an associate professor at Lewis University, Romeoville, IL, where she chairs the sociology department and directs the African American and Ethnic and Cultural Studies programs. Her studies focus on the ways that African American girls and women understand and navigate their identities while resisting the images and perceptions crafted by others. Allen is also interested in perceptions and meanings of social relationships as well as processes of and challenges in building community among African American girls and women.

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