The Human Network is a fresh, intriguing, and, above all, authoritative book about how our sometimes hidden positions in various social structures—our human networks—shape how we think and behave, and inform our very outlook on life.
Inequality, social immobility, and political polarization are only a few crucial phenomena driven by the inevitability of social structures. Social structures determine who has power and influence, account for why people fail to assimilate basic facts, and enlarge our understanding of patterns of contagion—from the spread of disease to financial crises. Despite their primary role in shaping our lives, human networks are often overlooked when we try to account for our most important political and economic practices. Matthew O. Jackson brilliantly illuminates the complexity of the social networks in which we are—often unwittingly—positioned and aims to facilitate a deeper appreciation of why we are who we are.
Ranging across disciplines—psychology, behavioral economics, sociology, and business—and rich with historical analogies and anecdotes, The Human Network provides a galvanizing account of what can drive success or failure in life.
Matthew O. Jackson is the William D. Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University, an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute, and a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He has been researching social and economic networks for more than twenty-five years and has published Social and Economic Networks, a leading graduate-level text on the subject. Jackson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Game Theory Society; an Economic Theory Fellow; and former Guggenheim Fellow. He has reached more than a million students via his popular online courses on social and economic networks and game theory.