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Tipping Point

In sociology, a tipping point is a point in time when a group or a large number of group members, rapidly and dramatically changes its behavior by widely adopting a previously rare practice.

The phrase was first used in sociology by Morton Grodzins when he adopted the phrase from physics where it referred to the adding a small amount of weight to a balanced object until the additional weight caused the object to suddenly and completely topple, or tip. Grodzins studied integrating American neighborhoods in the early 1960s. He discovered that most of the white families remained in the neighborhood as long as the comparative number of black families remained very small. But, at a certain point, when "one too many" black families arrived, the remaining white families would move out en masse in a process known as white flight. He called that moment the "tipping point"
In The Tipping Point : "How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" is the debut book by Malcolm Gladwell, first published by Little Brown in 2000.

Gladwell adopted "tipping point" term and defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point".The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological changes that mark everyday life. As Gladwell states, "Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do".The examples of such changes in his book include the rise in popularity and sales of Hush Puppies shoes in the mid-1990s and the steep drop in the New York City crime rate after 1990.


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