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The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, And The Private Toll Of Global Competition

March 14, 2012 by staff 

The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, And The Private Toll Of Global Competition, Book Description, Publication Date: January 17, 2012 , 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.

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