Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads / Edition 1

Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads / Edition 1

by Joel Best
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0520246268

ISBN-13: 9780520246263

Pub. Date: 04/10/2006

Publisher: University of California Press


While fads such as hula hoops or streaking are usually dismissed as silly enthusiasms, trends in institutions such as education, business, medicine, science, and criminal justice are often taken seriously, even though their popularity and usefulness is sometimes short-lived. Institutional fads such as open classrooms, quality circles, and multiple personality

Overview


While fads such as hula hoops or streaking are usually dismissed as silly enthusiasms, trends in institutions such as education, business, medicine, science, and criminal justice are often taken seriously, even though their popularity and usefulness is sometimes short-lived. Institutional fads such as open classrooms, quality circles, and multiple personality disorder are constantly making the rounds, promising astonishing new developments—novel ways of teaching reading or arithmetic, better methods of managing businesses, or improved treatments for disease. Some of these trends prove to be lasting innovations, but others—after absorbing extraordinary amounts of time and money—are abandoned and forgotten, soon to be replaced by other new schemes. In this pithy, intriguing, and often humorous book, Joel Best—author of the acclaimed Damned Lies and Statistics—explores the range of institutional fads, analyzes the features of our culture that foster them, and identifies the major stages of the fad cycle—emerging, surging, and purging. Deconstructing the ways that this system plays into our notions of reinvention, progress, and perfectibility, Flavors of the Month examines the causes and consequences of fads and suggests ways of fad-proofing our institutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520246263
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/10/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

1. The Illusion of Diffusion
2. Why We Embrace Novelties: Conditions That Foster Institutional Fads
3. The Fad Cycle: Emerging
4. The Fad Cycle: Surging
5. The Fad Cycle: Purging
6. Fad Dynamics
7. Becoming Fad-Proof

Notes
References
Index

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