I will second the recommendation. Michael is a political scientist at UCLA, and this volume is one of the most important social books of the last fifteen years. He shows the importance of “common knowledge” in explaining social phenomena, namely we create rational rituals so that others can see we are acting in concert with them. It’s all about public ceremonies, parades, dances, and meetings. It’s also why good Super Bowl commercials can be so effective. The work dates from 2001, but it seems more relevant each year.
Chwe’s concept is readily apparent in the dynamics of social media. When a media organization posts a link to an online article on Facebook, for example, and people begin “liking” it, others will begin to assign some level of importance to the story and some will be compelled to share it and discuss it. The idea of “common knowledge” may also lend itself to thinking about advertising strategies on social media.
In this regard, by the way, the openness of the internet may make us more rather than less conformist. Here is a good review of the book.