Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

An Interesting Instance of Contagion

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 53
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)
- Advertisement -
Among the means by which interconnectedness operates in human cultural systems, and for that matter in living systems generally, is the phenomenon of contagion.

We usually think of contagion as operating through the transmission of disease. But that's not the only form of contagion.

We're also aware of the way certain behaviors --like yawning, and laughter-- spread in contagious fashion.

The idea of contagion might also be applicable to some of the ways in which a "Zeitgeist" emerges. (See "SEEING THINGS WHOLE: The Zeitgeist as Evidence of Subtle Patterns and Connections" at
Here's an interesting manifestation of a kind of contagion I just happened to run across in my reading. It's a quotation from Nicholas A. Christakis, professor of medical sociology at Harvard Medical School, and it appears in a Harvard publication, THE YARD, of fall/winter 2007.)

- Advertisement -
Recently, we examined whether obesity --a serious public health and individual problem-- evinces epidemic properties. We wanted to understand whether obesity could spread from person to person, what the possible mechanism of any such spread might be, and whether there is evidence for so-called 'hyperdyadic effects.' We found that exercise or eating behaviors may spread from person to person via a kind of social contagion. Additionally, some of our results suggest that norms, as well as behaviors, may be shared: as individuals gain weight, others to whom they are connected appear to change their ideas about acceptable body size and then gain weight themselves. In tehse ways, social networks can augment the rise in obesity in America.


I invite any other examples of such "social contagion," or other instances by which patterns spread in a "contagious" fashion. Also invited are any insights, or reflections, or useful questions about contagions. Finally, I hope people will share any insights anyone may have regarding how the phenomenon of contagion may fit with any of the other dimensions of wholeness.

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

Andrew Schmookler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power