Consequential Strangers: Turning Everyday Encounters Into Life-Changing Moments

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Overview

“A mind-expanding and heart-opening book.”—Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence
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.

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Editorial Reviews

Mark Granovetter
“The essential guide to navigating our new twenty-first-century social waters.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393338454
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/26/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,010,449
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Melinda Blau, co-author of the best-selling Baby Whisperer series, 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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction The Birth of a Notion xv

1 The Ascendance of Consequential Strangers 1

2 The View from Above 29

3 Beyond the Confines of the Familiar 61

4 Good for What Ails Us 95

5 Being Spaces 129

6 The Downside 165

7 The Future of Consequential Strangers 197

Epilogue The Postscript Is Personal 215

Appendix I Twenty Questions 221

Appendix II The Occupation Test 223

Notes 225

Index 263

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