Join the Club is the story of an extraordinarily powerful kind of social change. It has led teens in America to rebel against cigarettes and teens in Africa to protect themselves from AIDS. It has brought worshippers into a closer relationship with God. It has led millions of people to quit drinking and drugs. It has organized a passive and fearful citizenry subjugated by a dictator into the nonviolent army that overthrew him. Through stories drawn from the affluent suburbs of Chicago to the impoverished shanties of rural India, this is a book that will not only revolutionize the way you look at the world, but give you the power to change it.
Tina Rosenberg has spent her career writing about people facing some of the world’s most difficult challenges. Now Rosenberg identifies a brewing social revolution that exploits one of our most basic human needs – to belong – as a way to transform society.
Telling striking stories of peer power in action, Rosenberg shows how positive peer pressure can change people’s behavior and solve seemingly intractable problems – and how others can use these strategies to accomplish their own goals. Readers will learn about
- the sedentary New Jersey housewives who transformed themselves into tri-athletes
- the oppressed and destitute women of rural India who became their village doctors, making themselves and their neighbors more prosperous and healthy
- a fundamentalist London mosque that is using its hard-line street cred to turn young men away from terrorism
- the black and Latino students at elite universities who are using a peer-based strategy to excel in college math
- a group of chronic emergency-room patients in a Boston slum who are beating disease and lowering their health care costs
- the handful of Serbian students who organized the youth of their country to defeat Slobodan Milosevic
In every case, pioneering social entrepreneurs threw out the old models for social change – models that tried to motivate people with information, or used appeals based on fear. Their astounding successes provide a road map to re-imagine social change, one never before charted. Together, they offer a blueprint of the ultimate cure for problematic social ills, employing humanity’s most powerful and abundant resource: our connections with one another.