Academic vs Cultural Intellectualism

Topics: Debate, Intellectual, Academia Pages: 2 (605 words) Published: June 30, 2012
Academic VS Cultural Intellectualism

In Gerald Graff’s essay Hidden Intellectualism; he criticizes those who do not put appropriate value into "street smarts." Graff persists that knowledge extends further than academic learning and carries into the everyday life. He writes about some of his precollege experiences with being as a “nonintellectual” due to his lack of interest in academic literary subjects. Graff also discusses how his interest in sports actually led him into academic intellectualism as an adult. Graff’s theses that intellectualism should not be restricted to just the “intellectual” academic subjects but instead should include popular interests of students into academic studies. Graff effectively debates that his childhood conversations with his friends are actually helpful for students to develop analyzing, debating, community skills.

Even though Graff thought he did not “dig the intellectual bit”, he later realized he was already practicing to be an intellectual, “I see now that the interminable analysis of sports teams, movies, and toughness that my friends and I engaged in – a type of analysis” (300). After realizing how his conversations helped, Graff establish, the idea that "the sports world was more compelling than school because it was more intellectual than school, not less" (301). Graff implores the reader to utilize popular topics of interest that are unconnected to school and look at them "through academic eyes" (302) Graff effectively conveys the idea of taking street smart themes and converting them into intellectual debates.

Using popular culture themes such as sports and jock vs geek was how Graff developed his debating skills during his conversations with friends. He says, “I see now that the interminable analysis of sports teams, movies, and toughness that my friends and I engaged in – a type of analysis…” (300). Integrating cultural and academic subjects, students can amplify their educational horizons. Graff's theory...
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