The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School

Alexandra Robbins

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 140131077X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In a smart, entertaining, reassuring book that reads like fiction, Alexandra Robbins manages to cross Gossip Girl with Freaks and Geeks and explain the fascinating psychology and science behind popularity and outcasthood. She reveals that the things that set students apart in high school are the things that help them stand out later in life.

Robbins follows seven real people grappling with the uncertainties of high school social life, including:

  • The Loner, who has withdrawn from classmates since they persuaded her to unwittingly join her own hate club
  • The Popular Bitch, a cheerleading captain both seduced by and trapped within her clique's perceived prestige
  • The Nerd, whose differences cause students to laugh at him and his mother to needle him for not being "normal"
  • The New Girl, determined to stay positive as classmates harass her for her mannerisms and target her because of her race
  • The Gamer, an underachiever in danger of not graduating, despite his intellect and his yearning to connect with other students
  • The Weird Girl, who battles discrimination and gossipy politics in school but leads a joyous life outside of it
  • The Band Geek, who is alternately branded too serious and too emo, yet annually runs for class president

In the middle of the year, Robbins surprises her subjects with a secret challenge--experiments that force them to change how classmates see them.

Robbins intertwines these narratives--often triumphant, occasionally heartbreaking, and always captivating--with essays exploring subjects like the secrets of popularity, being excluded doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, why outsiders succeed, how schools make the social scene worse--and how to fix it.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is not just essential reading for students, teachers, parents, and anyone who deals with teenagers, but for all of us, because at some point in our lives we've all been on the outside looking in.
















the dilemma, her immediate reaction was, “Let’s take Davis off, then.” Regan stared in disbelief. Delilah avoided eye contact. “Why?” Regan asked. “I don’t know,” Delilah said. She was not convincing. When Regan asked who was still on the list, Delilah mentioned four teachers. All of them were black. And one teacher’s class wasn’t even going. It made no sense. Why did the administration refuse Regan, whose class was going on the trip, in favor of a teacher whose class wasn’t? Later that day,

an unheard-of combination at Citygrove. Typically, Joy divided her free time in school among her friends. But today, these two were talking as if they’d known each other for years. The girls found a sunny patch of grass outside the biology classroom and caught up on each other’s day. After a while, Cleo knelt on the grass beside them. “We have the weirdest combination of people here: crazy Jamaican chick, Indian AP kid, cheerleader . . .” Joy said. “And cool, white artsy chick with funky

categories: overt aggression and alternative aggressions, which include social aggression (such as excluding) and relational aggression. Relational aggression, also known as relational bullying, covers ignoring, spreading rumors, shunning, eye rolling, glaring, snickering, and sneering. It is intended to harm by damaging or manipulating others’ self-esteem, social status, or friendships. For at least half a century, experts considered students who engaged in aggressive behavior to be socially

told him so often, he could be disciplined when he wanted to be. ONE AFTERNOON, BLUE DROVE Ty and Stewart to the beach. Midday it was too crowded, hot, and overrun with tourists, but by late afternoon, the beach emptied and the air cooled. Ty and Stewart grumbled as Blue led them on a half-mile walk to his favorite spot, a stretch of ocean that was mostly sandbar and shallow for dozens of yards in. The boys floated on their backs in the water, listening to a local band playing on shore. When

me a version of this description: “I feel like I have to act and look the way I am perceived. I can’t wear anything too low-cut because I’m the ‘innocent one.’ I can’t goof off because I’m the ‘smart responsible one,’ ” said a California junior. “In most ways I am those things. But sometimes, when I do things that are unlike me, I get looks as if I’m not acting like I should act.” This reaction to inconsistency can apply to racial stereotypes as well. A Maryland high school teacher said,

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