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The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition

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The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Why are adults in their twenties and thirties stuck in their parents’ homes in the world’s wealthiest countries?

 

There’s no question that globalization has drastically changed the cultural landscape across the world. The cost of living is rising, and high unemployment rates have created an untenable economic climate that has severely compromised the path to adulthood for young people in their twenties and thirties. And there’s no end in sight. Families are hunkering down, expanding the reach of their households to envelop economically vulnerable young adults. Acclaimed sociologist Katherine Newman explores the trend toward a rising number of “accordion families” composed of adult children who will be living off their parents’ retirement savings with little means of their own when the older generation is gone.

 

While the trend crosses the developed world, the cultural and political responses to accordion families differ dramatically. In Japan, there is a sense of horror and fear associated with “parasite singles,” whereas in Italy, the “cult of mammismo,” or mamma’s boys, is common and widely accepted, though the government is rallying against it. Meanwhile, in Spain, frustrated parents and millenials angrily blame politicians and big business for the growing number of youth forced to live at home.

 

Newman’s investigation, conducted in six countries, transports the reader into the homes of accordion families and uncovers fascinating links between globalization and the failure-to-launch trend. Drawing from over three hundred interviews, Newman concludes that nations with weak welfare states have the highest frequency of accordion families while the trend is virtually unknown in the Nordic countries. The United States is caught in between. But globalization is reshaping the landscape of adulthood everywhere, and the consequences are far-reaching in our private lives. In this gripping and urgent book, Newman urges Americans not to simply dismiss the boomerang generation but, rather, to strategize how we can help the younger generation make its own place in the world.

 

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Why are adults in their twenties and thirties boomeranging back to or never leaving their parents' homes in the world's wealthiest countries? Acclaimed sociologist Katherine Newman addresses this phenomenon in this timely and original book that uncovers fascinating links between globalization and the failure-to-launch trend. With over 300 interviews conducted in six countries, Newman concludes that nations with weak welfare states have the highest frequency of accordion families. She thoughtfully considers the positive and negative implications of these new relationships and suggests that as globalization reshapes the economic landscape it also continues to redefine our private lives.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Katherine S. Newman is the James Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University. The author of ten books on middle-class economic instability, urban poverty, and the sociology of inequality, Newman has taught at the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1) The Slippery State of Adulthood

Chapter 2  Why Are Accordion Families Spreading?

Chapter 3) In-House Adulthood

Chapter 4) I’m OK, You Are Not

Chapter 5) When the Nest Doesn’t Empty

Chapter 6) Trouble in Paradise

Chapter 7) The Birth Dearth and the “Immigrant Menace”

Conclusion: The Messy Politics of the Accordion Family

A Note on Methods and Acknowledgments

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807007457
Author:
Newman, Katherine S.
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Author:
Newman, Katherine
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Sociology-Children and Family
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Dimensions:
8.75 x 5.82 x 0.81 in 0.9 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Family Issues
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition New Trade Paper
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Product details pages Beacon Press (MA) - English 9780807007457 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Why are adults in their twenties and thirties boomeranging back to or never leaving their parents' homes in the world's wealthiest countries? Acclaimed sociologist Katherine Newman addresses this phenomenon in this timely and original book that uncovers fascinating links between globalization and the failure-to-launch trend. With over 300 interviews conducted in six countries, Newman concludes that nations with weak welfare states have the highest frequency of accordion families. She thoughtfully considers the positive and negative implications of these new relationships and suggests that as globalization reshapes the economic landscape it also continues to redefine our private lives.

From the Hardcover edition.

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