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“Rereading America” by Colombo, 9th edition.

Section 1: Harmony at Home – “The Accordion Family”

Analyze the main points of the work and share your perspective of what the author’s intent and purpose are as well as target audience. Explain what elements of the reading relate to your identity. Share your own experiences and stories that shape who you have become today.

Support your thesis by citing sufficient examples and supporting detail primarily from the reading itself. In doing so, consider the writer’s purpose, audience, and tone; the writer’s arguments, reasons, and evidence (as applicable); and the writer’s use of language and diction.


The accordion family refers to a situation where boomerang kids within the boomerang generation continue to live with their parents even at an advanced age. These kids delay to start their own families by delaying marriages. Different countries frame this phenomenon in different ways due to their cultures. Newman, the author of the book tries to explain the reasons why the culture of accordion families has increased mostly in the European countries. The focus is on youths aged between 20 to 30 years who are not willing to leave from their parents’ homes and start their own independent lives. There are various reasons that the author gives regarding the rise of accordion families. The accordion family phenomenon has a negative perception in many countries and plans are there to make sure that it does not exist due to its disadvantages.

One of the main reasons for increase in boomerang kids and accordion families is the assumption of poor parenting and recrimination mostly experienced in Japan. The other reason is attributed to the failure by the government and the economy towards families and the youth. There is also a situation where the culture is acceptable as part of change and especially when the adult children are trying to make a leeway in other aspects of their professional lives. This is mostly associated with the United States where the poorer families depend on the income of adults and the adult children rarely move away from their families until later. I take independence to be a sign of family bonding and that generations become isolated due to dependency. I have experienced many families break up when they are not living together.

According to Newman, there are obstacles that hinder the transition of the younger generation into adulthood. For example, I have noticed that high cost of living, the increase in unemployment rates, longer life expectancy, and rise in short term unemployment has led to the establishment of the accordion families in most parts of the world. As a younger adult, I pay no rent and feeds from my parents hence I spend less and save my money for recreation. In some countries like Denmark and Sweden that posses a strong welfare, the governments try to subsidize housing facilities and provide donations to the young adults to help them transform more easily. Therefore, when the young generation gets this chance, they choose to leave their parents’ homes to live in their own apartment’s thereby discouraging accordion family. They learn to be dependent and wish to start their own families.

Accordion families bring many disadvantages with them. The decision I make as a young adult has serious consequences on the public of my state. Newman, for instance explains that the longer the young adults live with their parents, the less the new families are formed risking the evaporation of a whole generation. This interferes with the social beliefs in many countries and mostly in Japan and Italy. Dropping rate of fertility brings about fewer workforces in the economy making the aging population work longer in life. For instance, today my expectations are changing because I do not face pressure from my parents to become independent. In addition, my family does not urge me to marry and therefore, I take no initiative to leave my parents’ home.

However, young adults have developed a reason why they should spend more time in their parents’ home. They prefer being home when they are pursuing further studies in their future careers. The children could also be undertaking internships where they are not paid and they are compelled to stay with their families to cater for their basic needs. Their families have no problem with the idea as their children continue to make a positive impact toward their future. They find this idea economical because the parents cannot pay for all the necessities that their children require while studying far from home. For example, staying in my parents’ home has made my life easier because I have saved enough money for my future studies.

Another reason why I would prefer to live with my parents is the fact that I want to take care of them when aging. Most young adults believe it is their duty to take care of their parents at this advanced age. Although this is socially acceptable is some states, it should be done after the children get a better paying job and are independent. The author condemns the behavior that brings about the boomerang kids and parents should work as hard as possible to avoid their old children spending in their homes. It makes people realize their goals earlier and find a sense of direction to make them successful in future. Otherwise, by staying with my parents, I have realized that I waste a lot of time doing unnecessary activities like playing computer games that do not add value in my life.

In conclusion, accordion families are common in the European countries but they are highly condemned in the African setting. Most of the parents of the boomerang kids did not get the chance to live with their parents and therefore, they would not prefer the same to happen to their children. It is evident that this behavior leads to laziness and conflicts ion the scarce family resources. Accordion families should be discouraged from all angles as they degrade the social norms of a society.

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