Archive for the 'Books' Category

Book: The Tipping Point

Friday, June 14th, 2002

Thanks to my commute, I finally have some time to catch up on reading. I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell‘s The Tipping Point. The book is about how social phenomena – from diseases to crime, from popular shoes to popular books – spread across the population.

Gladwell is a great writer. He does a great job of explaining sociological concepts in an interesting and engaging manner. If sociologists could write like this, I think we’d have a better reputation. To be fair, he isn’t writing an academic piece here, on the other hand, he is conveying all sorts of interesting sociological concepts to a very wide audience through his writings. In this book, he covers in some detail all sorts of interesting sociological and psychological studies ranging from why Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues are such hits with children to the effects of little changes in how we visualize things on our opinion formation.

Overall, I don’t know if he really offers a clear argument for the spread of social phenomena as there seem to be so many things that may matter. But the book is nonetheless worth reading just to think about the various factors that may influence why the spread of some phenomena tips at a certain point while other phenomena never diffuse widely.

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