Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00KFEK09C
- Publisher : Icon Books Ltd (April 8, 2011)
- Publication date : April 8, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 3068 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 400 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,700 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book provides examples of how efforts to motivate people with information or by using fear simply don’t work and sometimes have the opposite of the intended effect. Advertisers have known for many years one way to sell a product is to associate it with the “in crowd.”
We’ve heard about how peer pressure can cause people to behave badly (or stupidly). This book suggests that it can also cause good behavior and then proceeds to provide examples related to controlling AIDS, quitting smoking, improving grades, fighting terrorism, overthrowing oppressive governments, and improving infant mortality. This book refers to it as the "social cure."
This book has convinced me that the social cure is real. The problem is that it's difficult to create the required peer group to exert the required social pressure to cause the desired behavior.
Some quotes that caught my eye:
Quoting from “The Nurture Assumption” by Judith Rich Harris:
“She argued that once parents have passed along the genes, they have very little influence over their children--except to choose their child’s peer group.”
Referencing a study published in JAMA:
“Among children aged three to six, more knew Joe Camel than they did Mickey Mouse.” (prior to 1997 when Joe Camel ads ceased)
Other miscellaneous quotes:
“... joining a group that meets once a month will increase your happiness as much as doubling your income.”
“The short answer to the question of what makes people happy is this: other people.”
Referencing the results of study of body weight issues:
“...weight is socially contagious. If your friends are overweight, your are also likely to be overweight, even controlling for other factors. The contagion also works in the other direction; people with thin friends are more likely to be thin. Oddly, the connection also skipped a link--in the study, participants were significantly more likely to gain weight if a friend of a friend did, even if the friend who connected them gained no weight at all.”
Ms. Rosenburg has explored a number of social problems, both domestic and international and explored how the "social cure," peer pressure as she defines it, can make positive changes. Domestically, the exploration of both teen smoking prevention and study groups for Calculus provide brilliant reporting. The use of professional thinking in marketing to engage teens is particularly helpful, and similar ideas to engage youth in political opposition to corporate manipulation in consumerism, worker exploitation, etc. spring easily to mind.
The international examples are also strong, with powerful stories in Indian, grass-roots health care, the empowerment of women and political action. She also examines the probable peer pressure factors in the success of micro-loans.
While for this reader the overly-long section on the use of groups in a protestant, suburban, mega-church doesn't measure up to the other stories - this book is good food for thought for advocates everywhere.
Top reviews from other countries
On the surface, the idea that peer pressure (or the power of the group) can be very influential in guiding people's behaviour seems simple enough. However, what the author has done, in exploring a variety of examples where that idea has been put into practice, brings the idea to life. In particular, she examines what works, and perhaps even more importantly, what doesn't work, when you are trying to cause change. For instance, one thing that doesn't work alarmingly often is just providing people with the facts .... Read more to find out what does work.