Strangers

Author(s): Joe Keohane

Science

Why don't we talk to strangers?
Has it always been this way?
And what benefits come when we do talk to strangers?


For the Greeks, proper treatment of strangers was a primary virtue, "xenos"; and throughout the history of civilisation, the treatment of strangers has impacted the fate of whole cultures. But today we may still be surprised when someone we don't know is neither fool nor murderer.


In Strangers, Joe Keohane speaks to experts (historians, scientists, philosophers) and those who may be supremely skilled at talking to strangers (doctors, politicians, mental-health professionals) to uncover the surprising social and psychological benefits that come from mastering this social taboo. Research on commuters who were asked to talk to strangers on public transport, for example, showed that it is not only more pleasant than we think, but on the whole, welcomed too.


This deeply-researched and accessible unified theory of the life of humans will make you reconsider how you perceive and approach strangers: even passing interactions can enhance empathy and happiness, and ease the isolation that is increasing today. Paradoxically, strangers can help us become more fully ourselves.

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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780241399132
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : Viking
  • : October 2020
  • : ---length:- '22.2'width:- '13.8'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 288
  • : Hardback
  • : Joe Keohane