Science and Moral Life   /   Spring 2013   /    Book Reviews

Katherine S. Newman’s The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition

Joshua Wakeham

Following the Great Recession, a growing number of well- educated young adults in their twenties or even thirties began re t u r n i n g  t o  t h e i r  p a re n t s’ homes. In the light of high unemployment rates, particu- larly among young adults, this trend is not surprising. For America’s middle and upper m i d d l e  c l a s s  p a r e n t s ,  t h i s trend elicits anxious ambiva- lence. Many parents are happy to have their children, now past their emotionally turbu- lent teenage years, around the house. However, these parents also  worr y  as  their  children age but fail to meet the tradi- tional markers of adulthood: independent living, marriage, home ownership, and children of their own. "e expectations and options that these parents had seem to be disappearing for their children.

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