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The Accordion Family - Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition
The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition
Author: Katherine Newman
Product Code: 0743 ISBN: 978-080700743-3
Pages: 
288
Binding Information: Cloth 
Size: 
6 X 9 Inches (US)
Illustrated: 
No
Copyright Date Ed: 
01/17/2012
Trade Code: 
00C
Price: $25.95 In stock.
Qty:


Also available from: Independent Bookstore | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powells
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.



Read the Introduction


In the Media

Click here to see The Accordion Family featured in the Editor's Choice section of the New York Times Book Review.
Click here to see The Accordion Family featured in the recentNew York Times article, "Rules for When The Chicks Return to the Nest".
Click here to watch an interview with Katherine Newman featuring The Accordion Family on PBS NewsHour.
Click here to read an essay by Katherine Newman on Time.com.
Click here to listen to an interview with Katherine Newman featuring The Accordion Family on PRI's Marketplace.
Click here to read a review of The Accordion Family in the August 29th issue ofPublishers Weekly.
Click here to listen to an interview with Katherine Newman featuring The Accordion Family on WBUR's Radio Boston.
Click here to read an opinion piece by Newman in the New York Times.

Click here to read an interview with Newman in the Huffington Post.

Click here to read a review of Newman's work in the Boston Globe.

Click here to read an excerpt of The Accordion Family in The Chronicle Review.

Click here to read a write-up of The Accordion Family on Mothering21.com.

Click here to read an article featuring The Accordion Family on Salon.com.

Click here to read an article featuring The Accordion Family on PsychCentral.com.

Click here to read a Q&A with Katherine Newman posted to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Click here to listen to an interview with Katherine Newman on Minnesota Public Radio's The Daily Circuit.

Click here to watch Katherine Newman on MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show.

Click here to read a follow-up article featuring The Accordion Family on PsychCentral.com.

Reviews
Review   New York Times Book Review - March 1, 2012
"Klinenberg and Newman flesh out their subjects with expertise and devotion, but neither forgets that 'accordion family' and 'going solo' are always less definitive terms than rich and poor."

Quotes
"Combining personal interviews with careful analysis of economic trends, and paying close attention to differences in cultural values and political structures, Newman sheds new light on the complex trade-offs that recent changes in intergenerational relationships and residence patterns involve for young adults, their parents, and society as a whole."—Stephanie Coontz, author of The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap

"In this wide-ranging book, Katherine Newman shows that the ages at which young adults leave their parents' homes are rising in developed countries around the world. She brilliantly demonstrates that the global forces behind this change are everywhere the same but that each nation interprets it in its own cultural way. Newman's insightful presentation of the stories of accordion families challenges us to re-think what it means to be an adult today."—Andrew Cherlin, author of The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today

"With the unerring eye and keen insight that has become her hallmark, Katherine Newman identifies a previously unexamined casualty of the new global economy—the prolonged dependence of adult children on their families. The resulting 'accordion family,' as she calls it, is emerging all over the developed world due to declining job prospects for young people, increasingly expensive higher education, and the increasing costs of living on one's own. The responses to this trend—social, political, and economic—will shape generations to come. Brilliant and important."—Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley and author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future

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