Nerds: Who They are and why We Need More of Them

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Penguin, 2007 - 274 pages
5 Reviews
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A lively, thought-provoking book that zeros in on the timely issue of how anti-intellectualism is bad for our children and even worse for America. Why are our children so terrified to be called nerds? And what is the cost of this rising tide of anti-intellectualism to both our children and our nation? In Nerds, family psychotherapist and psychology professor David Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults wink at the derision of nerdy kids, and what we can do to prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly high-tech world. Nerds takes a measured look at how we think about and why we should rethink nerds, examining such topics as: - our anxiety about intense interest in things mechanical or technological; - the pathologizing of nerdy behavior with diagnoses such as Asperger syndrome; - the cycle of anti-nerd prejudice that took place after the Columbine incident; - why nerds are almost exclusively an American phenomenon; - the archetypal struggles of nerds and jocks in American popular culture and history; - the conformity of adolescents and why adolescent stereotypes linger into adulthood long after we should know better; and nerd cultural markers, particularly science fiction. Using education research, psychological theory, and interviews with nerdy and non-nerdy kids alike, Anderegg argues that we stand in dire need of turning around the big dumb ship of American society to prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibraryCin - LibraryThing

3.5 stars This was written by a developmental psychologist, and the focus is on middle school kids. What is the definition of a nerd and why do kids fear being one so much? I thought this was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - John_Pappas - LibraryThing

Skip to the last chapter (the conclusion). Wonderful chapter but the lead-in was stretched out. Read full review

Contents

THE NERD DILEMMA
1
THE FIELD GUIDE TO NERDS
15
MATH SCORES AND ECONOMIC ILLS
43
OLD THEMES AND NEW TWISTS
65
THEY CANT HELP IT THEYRE JUST SICK
87
THE SEINFELD AXIOM
113
THE GEEK SQUAD
141
THEYRE NOT UGLY THEY JUST NEED A MAKEOVER
167
IM NOT BORING YOU AM I?
191
WELCOME TO MY PERSECUTION
215
THE NERD YOU SAVE
239
NOTES
255
INDEX
265
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

David Anderegg, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Bennington College in Vermont and has maintained a private practice of psychotherapy in Lenox, Massachusetts, for the past seventeen years. Andereggs' op-eds have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and Newsday, and he has been quoted as an expert in his field in The New Yorker, USA Weekend, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today, among others. He lives in a small town in Vermont with his wife.

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