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

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Penguin, Mar 3, 2011 - Psychology - 304 pages
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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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Contents

NTRODUCTION TO THE PAPERBACK EDITION
THE FIELD GUIDE TO NERDS
OR WHY NERDSARESOGAY 2 MATH SCORES AND ECONOMIC ILLS
OLD THEMES AND NEW TWISTS
THEY CANT HELP IT THEYRE JUST SICK
THE SEINFELD AXIOM
THE GEEK SQUAD
THEYRE NOTUGLY THEY JUSTNEEDA MAKEOVER
OR WHAT ISTHIS THING CALLED THE SILMARILLION?
WELCOME TO MY PERSECUTION
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About the author (2011)

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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