Falling From Grace
Downward Mobility in the Age of Affluence
Katherine S. Newman
University of California Press
Over the last three decades, millions of people have slipped through a loophole in the American dream and become downwardly mobile as a result of downsizing, plant closings, mergers, and divorce: the middle-aged computer executive laid off during an industry crisis, blue-collar workers phased out of the post-industrial economy, middle managers whose positions have been phased out, and once-affluent housewives stranded with children and a huge mortgage as the result of divorce. Anthropologist Katherine S. Newman interviewed a wide range of men, women, and children who experienced a precipitous fall from middle-class status, and her book documents their stories. For the 1999 edition, Newman has provided a new preface and updated the extensive data on job loss and downward mobility in the American middle class, documenting its persistence, even in times of prosperity.