tipping point



What does a "tipping point" means, in terms of historical analysis? Is a tipping point a "moment" of transformation or something like that?
Thank you!
  • lilarubi

    "A focus on the outcome rather than the tipping point is typical of much of the literature on globalization; this then leads to comparisons of the national and the global and easily falls into the trap of assuming that if the global exists it is in spite of the national"


    Senior Member
    American English
    A tipping point is the moment or time when change begins to occur. That said, it is unclear what it means exactly in this short excerpt. In the future, also remember to provide the source for any and all quotations :).


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If you are familiar with a teeter-totter (see diagram) then you can easily understand the "tipping point".

    Diagram: http://www.colehardcash.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/teeter-totter.jpg

    If one end of the teeter totter is up and the other is down as shown in the attached diagram, you can alter that so the other side is up by adding weight to the side that is currently "up". As you gradually add weight it will cause the teeter totter to balance exactly. At some point as you add weight it will "tip" to the other side. That is the "tipping point".

    The tipping point is when the inputs that you have been putting in place finally effect a change. It implies that a process has been going on in that direction for a while. It is not a change that has occurred in a vacuum.
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