Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference offers a provocative model of how change occurs in human systems. He posits the idea of the tipping point, first used in the study of how infectious diseases spread, and uses that model to explain how certain behaviors spread across human populations.
It is an exciting idea, as most of us think of change as incremental, and also imagine that change must be systemic to work. Gladwell makes a convincing case that little changes, when applied correctly, can create a tipping point to set in motion lasting change.
Gladwell’s book has a wealth of examples of how this works, perhaps too many. The reader may get bogged down in the details and forget the point that Gladwell is trying to make. Luckily, his summary ties everything together.
Whether his ideas about change in society are wholly correct I am not qualified to answer. Certainly the book makes a great deal of sense across a wide range of phenomenon. Whether it holds for all, I am skeptical.