Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America and Why They Might BeOur Last Hope

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Overview

"Anderegg's clear-eyed look at a damaging cultural truism does nerds and jocks-all Americans, really-a service." (The Washington Post).

Thick glasses, socially awkward, a math whiz with a pocket protector- everyone knows what a nerd is. But where did this stereotype come from? Children aren't born knowing what a "nerd" or "geek" is, so why do they know by the age of five or six that they don't want to be one? In this revised and updated paperback edition of his thought-provoking...

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Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America and Why They Might BeOur Last Hope

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Overview

"Anderegg's clear-eyed look at a damaging cultural truism does nerds and jocks-all Americans, really-a service." (The Washington Post).

Thick glasses, socially awkward, a math whiz with a pocket protector- everyone knows what a nerd is. But where did this stereotype come from? Children aren't born knowing what a "nerd" or "geek" is, so why do they know by the age of five or six that they don't want to be one? In this revised and updated paperback edition of his thought-provoking book, family psychotherapist and psychology professor David Anderegg reveals how the systematic disparagement of "nerds" in our culture is bad for our children and even worse for America. In Nerds, Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults wink at the derision of "nerdy" kids, and what the cost of this rising tide of anti- intellectualism is to both our children and our nation. Drawing upon education research, psychological theory, and his own interviews with nerdy and non-nerdy kids alike, Anderegg argues that in order to prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace, we need to revisit how we think about "nerds."

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Editorial Reviews

Rachel Hartigan Shea
In his breezy book, Anderegg deconstructs the stereotype, traces its history and makes the case that it undermines individual kids and the country as whole…Anderegg points out that there's very little research on what effect the nerd stereotype has on how kids learn and interact…And one may quibble with his narrow definition of the subspecies, as someone who is interested just in science and math…But Anderegg's clear-eyed look at a damaging cultural truism does nerds and jocks—all Americans, really—a service.
—The Washington Post
The Barnes & Noble Review
One's first assumption when approaching a book titled Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them is that the book will be lightweight fluff, superficially assembling pop-culture iconography relating to the topic. But that's a lazy assumption, and David Anderegg's book is a thorough testament to how lazy assumptions relating to the conceptual category "nerd" have fostered unnecessary bitterness and wasted potential, both to individuals and our society as a whole. Anderegg's stone-serious thesis is that this category an entirely constructed social straitjacket arising from a host of buried cultural biases, both learned and hardwired into our deeper natures. A teacher, children's psychotherapist and keen observer of media, Anderegg sets out to define -- and dismantle -- this destructive paradigm. In fairness, he likewise laments the many ways that the "pops" (the cool kids) also suffer from such artificial dichotomies. While he does privilege certain elements of the nerdly Weltanschauung, he is mostly intent on eliminating cruelty to all classes and bettering the flawed educational system where such pernicious memes breed. Rich with contrarian insights -- Anderegg's text is highly persuasive, readable, and quotable. "Disney's High School Musical...may, in fact, be the final nail in the coffin of American competitiveness..." Try trotting out that observation at the next PTA meeting you attend, and see how long it takes for the other parents to label you a nerd. --Paul DiFilippo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428526
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/3/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 935,440
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Introduction To The Paperback Edition 1

Introduction: The Nerd Dilemma: Or Why Ashton Kutcher is Your Kid's Worst Nightmare 11

1 The Field Guide To Nerds: Or Why Nerds are so Gay 25

2 Math Scores and Economic Ills: Or Why You Need To Go To India To Find An Engineer 53

3 Old Themes and New Twists: Or Why Ichabod Crane Will Never Get Laid 77

4 They Can't Help It, They're Just Sick: Or How Better Treatment Might Help Cure Bill Gates 99

5 The Seinfeld Axiom: Or Why Nerds Know Advanced Calculus But Can't Get To First Base 125

6 The Geek Squad: Or Why You're Not Grateful To The Guy Who Fixes Your Computer 153

7 They're Not Ugly, They Just Need a Makeover: Or Why They Think No One Can See The Tape On Their Glasses 179

8 I'm not Boring You, Am I?: Or What is this Thing Called The Silmarillion? 203

9 Welcome To My Persecution: Or Why The George Bush-Al Gore Contest Was a Jungian's Dream 227

Conclusion: The Nerd You Save 251

Notes 267

Index 277

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Jk look at this post

    This is for everyone out there not including me YOUR IN A BOOK CONGRAGULATIONS LOL JK

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Sierra

    Love nerds maybe because im a nerds so yeah and i love it alot lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Jack

    Anyway, bye.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Violet

    Bye

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Gybnjjbj

    Its totally lame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Hdhs

    GO NERDS!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Mistystar

    Now "nm," third result

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    To: jk look at this post

    BRO URE SO RETARTED DO U EVEN LNOW WHAT A JERK IS?????? F-K THIS .....A JERK IS A JUNIOR, EGUCATED, RICH ,KID.......drrrrrr

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Nerds

    Ummm the sample is ok.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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