Combining a pop sociology approach with rigorous analysis rich in economic history and organizational behaviour, Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta have written a lively and provocative book about the global popularity of social networking platforms – from MySpace and Facebook to YouTube, Wikipedia and Twitter. Social networking sites are a global phenomenon. Sites like MySpace and Facebook now boast hundreds of millions of members. Online social interaction has become an indispensable part of their daily lives. Fraser and Dutta examine the powerful forces driving this social e-revolution, describe the equally powerful reactions to it, and make predictions about its long-term consequences.
The book is organized around three major themes: identity, status, and power. Following the explosion of Web 2.0 social platforms, identities are becoming increasingly multi-faceted, status is becoming more democratically based on performance, and power is being diffused from centralized vertical structures to horizontal networks. These are powerful changes with profound, far-reaching implications for how we organize our lives, our institutions, and our society.
Taking its title from the whimsical “sheep throwing” application used by members of sites like Facebook, the book concludes with reflections on the Web’s potential to revitalize social capital and civic participation through e-government and e-democracy. Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom will be enjoyed by educated readers with an interest in social trends, consumer behaviour, psychology, history, politics and economics.