The Fad Cycle

Joel Best

in Flavor of the Month

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246263
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932357 | DOI:
The Fad Cycle

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People often have trouble explaining what just happened after an institutional fad has run its course. This is primarily true of those who were not themselves caught up in the short-term enthusiasm. It is easy for someone who stood on the sidelines to ask why those supposedly smart people bought into that silly idea. Surging is the period when a fad's prevalence grows most immediately, when lots of people adopt the novelty. This chapter begins by exploring this exuberance and other emotional aspects of surging; then, it considers some of the more calculated reasoning favored by those who are slow to adopt, including those who simply refuse to go along with the new trend. People must bear in mind that fads—even institutional fads promising solutions to serious dilemmas—can be fun.

Keywords: enthusiasm; dilemmas; novelty; exuberance; trend

Chapter.  7102 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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