The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

Book - 2009
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Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co./Hachette Book Group, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316036146
Branch Call Number: 302.3 Chri
Characteristics: xiii, 338 p., [8] p. of col. plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Fowler, James H. 1970-


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Jul 01, 2017

A book with good insights on how social networks have evolved since ancient times to modern days. Psychology, bilgy, physiology, behavioral sociology and economics take a big role on the thesis explained on this text and gives a different perspective of how and why the human is a social species and have taken advantage of it.

The book is heavy on examples and digressions, which makes the reading tedious. Besides this, the content needs an update to make situations more relevant to contemporary society and to include new findings and studies of the last years (where is evident that social clusters now expand beyond the three degrees of separation).

JCLChrisK Jun 03, 2013

Humans are social creatures, rarely existing in complete isolation. We live in relationship to each other; we shape and are shaped by each other; you have influence over those around you--even those you haven't met--and they have influence over you.
This book is a fascinating look at a broad collection of recent studies, by the authors and many others, that attempts to understand the dynamics of our social natures and connectedness. What the authors have found is that social networks reach three degrees of influence--to friends of friends of friends, thousands of people when multiplied out for each individual--even though individuals haven't actually met most of those in their networks of influence. Influence ripples across those first three degrees of separation to a significant level then becomes insignificant at a fourth degree. And just as individuals influence others to three degrees, they are influenced by them as well.
"Networks influence the spread of joy, the search for sexual partners, the maintenance of health, the functioning of markets, and the struggle for democracy. Yet, social-network effects are not always positive. Depression, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, financial panic, violence, and even suicide also spread. Social networks, it turns out, tend to magnify whatever they are seeded with."
Some of it seems a bit obvious--like those who are better connected are more likely to get good jobs--and some of it is surprising--like the way weight gain or loss can skip over a link yet still be in sync. All of it is explored and explained to depths beyond the obvious. It's a lot of food for thought and a lot of ground to cover, and makes for a highly intriguing read.

May 11, 2011

The idea that the book shows is really interesting. The problem is that it repeats the idea a thousand of times.

Feb 05, 2010

I found a lot of repetiton in this book. Which caused me not to finish it.


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