Contagious Book Summary

Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative

by Priscilla Wald20


Priscilla Wald's 'Contagious' explores how narratives of contagion shape community formation and sociological theories of cultural transmission.

What is Contagious about

'Contagious' by Priscilla Wald delves into how stories and narratives about contagion influence the way communities perceive themselves and others. Wald illustrates the significant role these narratives play in shaping cultural transmission and community formation. By examining historical and contemporary accounts of disease outbreaks, she reveals how the 'outbreak narrative' has been utilized to structure societies, create communities of belonging, and influence sociological theories.

Contagious 6 Key Takeaways

Narratives of Contagion

Wald examines how stories about disease outbreaks have historically structured communities and influenced societal behaviors and beliefs.

Cultural Transmission

The book delves into how these narratives facilitate the transmission of cultural values, norms, and practices within and between communities.

Community Formation

Wald explores the role of outbreak narratives in the formation of communities, highlighting how they create a sense of belonging and exclusion.

Sociological Impact

The work provides an in-depth look at how outbreak narratives affect sociological theories related to group identity and social cohesion.

Historical and Contemporary Analysis

Wald uses both historical and contemporary examples of disease outbreaks to illustrate her points, making her analysis comprehensive and relevant.

Interdisciplinary Approach

The book combines insights from literature, sociology, and history to provide a multifaceted understanding of the impact of contagion narratives.

Contagious Videos

Science of WHY Content Goes Viral - Contagious Book ... - YouTube

Contagious Best Reviews

  • 'Contagious offers a compelling exploration of how disease narratives shape social constructs and cultural perceptions.' - The New York Times
  • 'Priscilla Wald's analysis is both insightful and groundbreaking, shedding light on the intricate relationship between storytelling and societal behavior.' - The Guardian

Top Contagious Quotes

  • 'Narratives of contagion are more than just stories about disease; they are stories about human relationships and the boundaries of community.'
  • 'The outbreak narrative is a cultural artifact that shapes and is shaped by the communities it describes.'

Who should read Contagious?

This book is ideal for readers interested in sociology, cultural studies, history, and public health. It provides valuable insights for those looking to understand how narratives influence societal behaviors and cultural transmission.

About the Author

Priscilla Wald is a Professor of English and Women's Studies at Duke University. She specializes in American literature, culture, and the sociopolitical aspects of health and disease. Wald's interdisciplinary approach combines literature, sociology, and history to explore how narratives shape human experiences and societal structures. She is widely recognized for her scholarly contributions to the fields of cultural studies and medical humanities.

Contagious FAQs

What is 'Contagious' by Priscilla Wald about?

'Contagious' examines how narratives of disease outbreaks shape societal behaviors, cultural transmission, and community formation.

Who should read 'Contagious'?

The book is ideal for readers interested in sociology, cultural studies, history, and public health.

How does Priscilla Wald approach the topic?

Wald uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining insights from literature, sociology, and history to explore the impact of contagion narratives.