Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection

Books on Tape. Jan. 2021. 368p. 8:14 hrs. ISBN 9780593211045. $76. BUS
King (organizational behavior, Yale Sch. of Management) shares results of her research into the evolution of social networks, what they look like, and their significance. She explains that networks are groups of interconnected people that leverage relationships to result in something stronger than the typical outcome of one-on-one interactions. The paradox of her findings is that even though humans seem to now be more connected than ever, one out of five Americans still reports being lonely. The solid research in this book transcends more ephemeral approaches that treat social media as networks (for instance, Albert Barabasi’s Linked, Duncan Watts’s Six Degrees, or Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks). King’s crisp, friendly narration helps connect listeners to the value of the book in the workplace and daily living. Libraries should note that the author’s heavily footnoted research may make the hard copy version more useful for readers looking to do further research.
VERDICT Essential for all university libraries supporting psychology and human resources development curricula.
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