Literature Study GuidesThe Tipping Point

The Tipping Point | Study Guide

Malcolm Gladwell

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Malcolm Gladwell

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At a Glance

Every now and then an idea becomes contagious, spreading rapidly from person to person in a kind of "social epidemic." But what makes some ideas, products, and behaviors take off and others fail to launch? Journalist Malcolm Gladwell examines how social epidemics reach critical turning points he calls a Tipping Point. Gladwell explores the worlds of advertising, fashion, urban crime, teenage trendsetting, and more, taking readers from the beginning of the American Revolution (1765–83) to the future of nicotine-addiction research to find where Tipping Points lie.

About the Title

Social scientists use the term tipping point to describe the moment when a new behavior, idea, or event becomes common or "tips" in one direction. The subtitle notes the importance of small changes in causing large-scale results, a point Gladwell emphasizes in his book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.


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