Huffington Post reviews Virality
The rise of the network society is a reality -- though certainly not everyone around the world is participating; but at some point it is likely that most will be because the growing market of information-exchange depends on it. Consequently, the dependence of communities on networked information demands a contemporary evaluation of crowd behavior in both physical and online social spaces.
Tony Sampson contributes to this emerging horizon with his book Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (Minnesota, 2012) by revisiting, or as he states "resuscitating" the work of Gabriel Tarde, a French sociologist who was contemporary of Emile Durkheim. Sampson's book is relevant in various fields of research including media studies, communication, media archeology, and sociology to name just a few. Sampson's biggest contribution, arguably is to a small niche in cultural studies known as assemblage theory, which is largely defined by the theories of Gilles Deleuze, a French philosopher who developed his principles of non-linear ontology (nature of being) based in part on Tarde's research of crowd behavior during the end of the 19th century.