Behavior: Hidden Side of Inflation

Inflation is liberating the suburbs. So argues City University of New York Sociologist David Caplovitz. With residents forming car pools and baby-sitting pools, entertaining more at home and happily exchanging useful junk at garage sales, he says, "keeping up with the Joneses is gone, and a lifeboat camaraderie has taken its place." Fascinated by this development, Caplovitz is applying for a federal grant to study a surprisingly neglected subject—the hidden psychological side of inflation.

Social scientists believe that inflation may be producing deep changes in Americans. Sociologist-Author Richard Sennett (The Hidden Injuries...

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