Book Reviews: Microtrends

Thirty years ago, Penn read a book by V.O. Key, Jr. that started with “The perverse and unorthodox thesis of this little book is that the voters are not fools.” This observation stayed with Penn who recognized that it is not the monumental trends that are affecting choices people make every day, rather it is the little things-microtrends that are shaping our society. Having first identified and then coining the phrase “Soccer Moms” as part of the Clinton campaign strategy, Penn identifies over 70 microtreads, some as small as a mere 1 percent of the population as they effect business, leisure, religion, politics and family life. Whether it’s the ever-increasing number of single women, due in part to not enough straight men, or the renewed interest in knitting and tattoos among young people, this is a fascinating look at trends that are currently shaping our world. Penn has done more then identify microtrends, he has brought them to the light of day with Harris poll statistics, interesting graphs and observations on what it all means. Especially noteworthy are the international comparisons that reveal, among other things, that 82 percent of Italian men ages 18-30 are still living at home. Penn has done an admirable job of collecting a wealth of information that may get readers looking for microtrends in their neighborhood. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.