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The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition Hardcover – January 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1 edition (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807007439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807007433
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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.”—New York Times Book Review 

“Brilliant and important.” —Robert B. Reich, author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future

“Newman reveals that while the causes of children moving back home are somewhat universal … different cultures have very disparate ways of redressing the issue.”—starred notice in Library Journal feature 

"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


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.

More About the Author

Katherine Newman is the author of "The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition" (Beacon Press, 2012). She is a professor of sociology and James Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. 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.

Photographer Copyright Credit Name: Will Kirk, 2012.

Customer Reviews

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I highly recommend this outstanding book to everyone.
Malvin
I am enjoying reading this, and believe that college classrooms of all types and interested general readers will like this book.
Reader from Washington, DC
Sociologist Katherine Newman's book The Accordion Family looks at the phenomenon from all angles.
takingadayoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reader from Washington, DC VINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Accordion Family" is an extremely interesting book on why millions of adults under the age of 35 are still living at home with their parents in many first world democracies.

In a readable and well-organized book, author Katherine Newman, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, presents interviews with families from the U.S., Italy, Spain, Japan, Denmark and other first world democracies, trying to determine why thousands of young adults are unable to find homes and start families of their own.

The causes aren't difficult to find -- Newman offers easy to understand tables and graphs in addition to the interviews, showing that economic globalization -- the export of jobs from first world countries to developing countries -- has left many economies bereft of starter jobs for people between the ages of 16 to 35 trying to enter the job market.

Faced with a shortage of jobs at all levels, high educational expenses, skyrocketing rents and home prices, and increasingly competitive workplaces where master's degrees and Ph.D. degrees are required instead of bachelor's degrees and high school graduation diplomas, younger workers are often forced to live at home, subsisting on part-time or contract jobs or struggling through yet another college program.

Newman looks at how each culture deals with this phenomenon -- Scandinavian countries have worked against it, by providing young adults with housing, college loans and other assistance in leaving their parents' residences. But both the young adults and parents she interviewed complain of a lack of family closeness.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Did you know that in Italy today a whopping 37% of 30 year old men have never lived away from home? Have you heard that a growing number of other European nations like Spain and Portugal are also confronting a dramatic rise in the number of "just plain idle" young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 that some refer to as NEETS or "not in education, employment or training"? Were you aware that the very same problem is becoming increasingly acute in Japan and have you noticed that this worrisome trend is becoming much more prominent right here in the United States? Why is it that increasing numbers of young adults all over the developed world are choosing to stay at home with mom and dad after graduation rather than striking out on their own? Surely, skyrocketing housing costs are partly to blame. But is there more to it? Katherine S. Newman is an esteemed sociologist and author who has made her life's work the study of middle-class economic instability and urban poverty. Her latest book is bound to unsettle you just a bit. Professor Newman posits the notion that the root cause of the myriad problems confronting the generation she refers to as the "Millennials" is economic globalization. Also known as "Generation Y", these young people are waking up to the painful reality that the economic activity and employment opportunities once available in the advanced economies they grew up in have been inexorably shifting to Second and Third World nations with dramatically lower labor costs. In "The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition" Newman synthesizes the findings from the more than 300 candid interviews of parents and adult children in six different nations that were conducted for this book.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Accordion Family" by Katherine Newman is a groundbreaking study on the rise of multigeneration households in the advanced industrial economies. Working with a staff of professional research assistants, Ms. Newman's ambitious project included interviews with hundreds of subjects in Denmark, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden and the United States in order to compare and contrast the accordion family through different cultural practices. Ms. Newman's findings are presented in a well-written, concise and insightful manner that should prove useful to sociologists, economists and general interest readers alike.

Ms. Newman discusses how policy matters a lot. In the Nordic countries, subsidized housing and education enables young people to leave the family home and establish their own households. In the Mediterranean countries, the young are often priced out of the housing market and can rarely find permanent employment, leaving them stuck in the family home well into adulthood. In the U.S., the situation is somewhere in between these two extremes, with middle class families generally allowing their children time to study and establish their careers while the working poor have no choice but to pool their earnings to survive. In Japan however, Ms. Newman finds an extreme case where a wrenching economic and demographic transformation has left little opportunity for the young, some of whom are staying in the family home into their forties.

Ms. Newman does an outstanding job understanding how people feel about all this. She finds that Danes and Swedes value their privacy and independence but recognize how it has cost them a measure of closeness among the generations.
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