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Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem to Matter. . . But Really Doby Melinda Blau
Synopses & Reviews
Our barista, our mechanic, our coworker—they populate our days, but we often take them for granted. Yet these are the people who bring novelty and information into our lives, allow us to exercise different parts of ourselves, and open us up to new opportunities. In their unprecedented examination of people on the periphery, psychologist Karen Fingerman, who coined the term “consequential strangers,” collaborates with journalist Melinda Blau to expand on and make her own groundbreaking research come alive. Drawing as well from Blau’s more than two hundred interviews with specialists in psychology, sociology, marketing, and communication, the book presents compelling stories of individuals and institutions, past and present. A rich portrait of our social landscape—on and off the Internet—it presents the science of casual connection and chronicles the surprising impact that consequential strangers have on business, creativity, the work environment, our physical and mental health, and the strength of our communities.
'Challenges us to rethink our circle of relationships. . . . A mind-expanding and heart-opening book."Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence
'A mind-expanding and heart-opening book."Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence
An examination of everyday peripheral people and their role in helping others to exercise different aspects of human character draws on interviews with specialists in a variety of disciplines to reveal the unexpected impact of consequential strangers on all aspects of life.
They punctuate our days, but we take them for granted: our barista, our car mechanic, our coworker. Yet these are the consequential strangers who bring novelty and new opportunities into our lives. In an unprecedented examination of 'people who don"t seem to matter,' psychologist Karen L. Fingerman, who coined the term, collaborates with journalist Melinda Blau to develop an idea sparked by Fingerman and others" groundbreaking social science research. Drawing as well from Blau"s wide-ranging interviews, this book presents a rich portrait of our social landscape, chronicling the surprising impact consequential strangers have on business, creativity, health, and the strength of our communities.
About the Author
Melinda Blau, co-author of the best-selling Baby Whispererseries, writes extensively about relationships and trends. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.Karen L. Fingerman, PhD, the Berner Hanley Professor at Purdue University, lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Table of Contents
Introduction : the birth of a notion — The ascendance of consequential strangers — The view from above — Beyond the confines of the familiar — Good for what ails us — Being spaces — The downside — The future of consequential strangers — Epilogue : the postscript is personal — Appendix I : twenty questions — Appendix II : the occupation test.
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