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Please select and respond to one of the two prompts below. Your response should be one page long, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins on all sides. The assignment will be graded out of 10 points total. It is intended to be enjoyable for you- please show what you know and be creative!
1. The study by Salganik, Dodds, and Watts would seem to have sobering implications for those who would like to predict the success of cultural items- or read too much into cultural items that did or didn’t succeed. Summarize the authors’ core findings. Then, tell me what *you* make of them. Is it truly futile to try to create a successful product? Could the Backstreet Boys just as easily have been a flop? Or was there some limitation in the design of the study that should still give us hope that quality in cultural products is rewarded?
2. Discuss a time in your life when you were influenced by one or more people in your social network to adopt a cultural preference, buy some new product, or engage in some beneficial practice. Which of DiMaggio and Garip’s three mechanisms of peer influence were at work? And why did you adopt *this* particular preference, product, or behavior rather than others? Can we as social scientists learn anything from this?