Someone To Talk To has been released by Oxford U Press. A study of how people use their networks to cope with loss, victimization, failure, and other debilitating stressors, the book is an inquiry into human nature, a critique of network analysis, and a discourse on the role of qualitative research in the big-data era.
- "The book is a tour de force." Karen Cook, Stanford University
- "This fascinating book taps into the complex, networked fabric of our lives." Bernice Pescosolido, Indiana University
- "It's extraordinary!" Eldar Shafir, Princeton University
- "Whoever has read Mario Small will recognize in this new book his unmistakable style of making comprehensible what is difficult, of describing ostensibly simple stories of ordinary people which nevertheless challenge our understanding of world.” Jose Luis Molina and Miranda Jessica Lubbers, Redes
- Time Magazine, BBC, Psychology Today, The Guardian, Public Radio, Harvard Business Review, Roundhouse Radio, OUPblog
Congressional testimony on social capital Small testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress on social capital and economic opportunity. Serious investment in early education programs can help build social capital and improve the lives of both children and parents.
Making friends in violent neighborhoods Small's paper with Anjanette Chan Tack finds that neighborhood violence makes elementary school children in Chicago unusually --- and distressingly --- strategic about friendships. See summary in NY Magazine's Science of Us.
Floormates down the hall, strangers on the train Small's "Because They Were There," co-authored with Christopher Sukhu and published in Social Networks, examines how people decide whom to turn to for support. It documents that people often don't deliberate on the matter, making spontaneous decisions that do not conform to expectations of rationality.
The problem with urban ethnography Small's City and Community paper, "De-Exoticizing Ghetto Poverty," discusses stereotyping and sensationalism in current research on low-income minority populations. “Violence sells copy, and no ethnographer can feign ignorance of that fact.”
People replace confidants quickly in new contexts Small's Social Networks paper examines who graduate students trust with important matters over their first year. "The core discussion network changes remarkably quickly... and it appears to do so because the obligations people face and the routine activities they engage in are transformed by new institutional environments." Confidants are fickle.