Monday, August 28, 2006

What makes a reputation, and how do rumors impact a community?

I had a discussion with a commenter who was insistent that all people expressing an opinion have equal validity. I contended that they do not. That got me thinking about ‘social capital,' what it is, why some people have it and others don’t, why some people squander theirs. That led me to a search for deeper meanings of social capital, which led me to the synopsis of sociologist Gary A. Fine’s book. He poses the questions:

What is a reputation and where does it come from? Is there a difference between the social dynamics of a good reputation and a bad one? How does notoriety work?

Those questions are explored in Fine’s book, “Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept, and Controversial,” and in reading his bibliography, I also saw he wrote essays in the book, “Rumor mills: The social impact of rumor and legend.” I bought both, and plan to read them voraciously and post findings on the Monument blog. I ordered next day shipping so the sociology bonanza will start on Wednesday.

3 comments:

Ernest Pooch said...

Looking forward to it. Sincerely.

Elizabeth Prata said...

I am just about finished the book on rumors. I'm 3/4 way through. It's really interesting.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Ernest, I put up an introductory post at my other blog, www.monumentnews.blogspot.com

I'll do lots more in the coming day, and days.