"Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition" (Encore presentation.)

May 2, 2012

On today's show, which originally aired earlier this year, we offer a conversation with Katherine Newman, Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, who's written several books on middle-class economic instability, urban poverty, and the sociology of inequality. Newman's newest book is "The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition." It's a well-written, deeply researched study that basically sets out to answer one question: Why are so many adults in their twenties and thirties still living in their parents' homes . . . in the world's wealthiest countries? As the noted economic scholar and author (and frequent public radio commentator) Robert B. Reich has written: "Newman [here] 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. [This book is] brilliant and important."