In the style of Nudge or The Spirit Level - a groundbreaking book that will change the way you look at the world. Tina Rosenberg has spent her career tackling some of the world's hardest problems. The Haunted Land, her searing book on how Eastern Europe faced the crimes of Communism, was awarded both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in the US. In Join the Club, she identifies a brewing social revolution that is changing the way people live, based on harnessing the positive force of peer pressure. Her stories of peer power in action show how it has reduced teen smoking in the United States, made villages in India healthier and more prosperous, helped minority students get top grades in college calculus, and even led to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. She tells how creative social entrepreneurs are starting to use peer pressure to accomplish goals as personal as losing weight and as global as fighting terrorism. Inspiring and engrossing, Join the Club explains how we can better our world through humanity's most powerful and abundant resource: our connections with one another.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"join the Club" provides some much needed thinking for Social Workers and others interested in making a difference - especially in such difficult economic and anti-social policy times.
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.
As many reviewers have mentioned, the thesis of this book is truly remarkable: effective change comes not from information, but identity transformation, namely the "social cure" made by exploiting the positive potentials of the notorious "peer pressure". The examples are well selected, well researched, and cover a wide range of social and political issues. The writing of this book, however, is rather disappointing, especially given that it is authored by a Pulitzer Prize winner: all the cases are presented in an unnecessarily lengthy way loaded with trivial details that distract me from the central argument; the storytelling sometimes has a strange chronological order or logical sequence as if it were some unedited research notes; compared to the overwhelmingly detailed account of the facts, the analytical and theoretical reasoning is very thin. It's irritating how a brilliant idea is butchered by poor presentation, but thankfully it's brilliant enough for me to...
Humans are social animals descended from a long line of hunter gathers who lived in small social groupings of extended families (i.e. tribes). We are programmed to care about what other people think of us. Rugged individualism is probably an imaginary facade in most cases. This book explores ways in which peer pressure can be adjusted to create positive behavioral changes.
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...
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