Hidden Intellectualism

Topics: Anti-intellectualism, High school, Academia Pages: 2 (737 words) Published: October 12, 2011
Hidden Intellectualism
In his article "Hidden Intellectualism," Gerald Graff criticizes those that do not put value into "street smarts." Graff insists that knowledge goes far beyond academic learning and continues into the everyday world. As a child, Graff always looked for a happy medium between brawn and brain. As Graff describes, he felt "the need to prove I was smart and the fear of a beating if I proved it too well." In a culture that values sports and entertainment, Gerald knew he would face ridicule if academic subjects became his main point of interest. Gerald believes that academic knowledge can be a hindrance to social life and continues to argue that sports are a much better topic to be interested in. Because football and baseball statistics became his center of interest, sports became the topic of conversation between him and his friends. Instead of talking about chemistry, Graff found himself in arguments about who should be the next MVP. Little did Graff realize, conversation with his friends helped develop analysis, summaries, generalizations, and "other intellectualizing operations." After coming to an understanding of what these conversations helped Graff establish, the idea that "the sports world was more compelling than school because it was more intellectual than school, not less" began to surface in his mind. Graff then pleads the reader to take interesting topics unrelated to school and look at them "through academic eyes." In other wards, Graff essentially conveys the idea of taking street smart topics and turning them into intellectual debates. His stance portrays a culture that incorporates common subjects to be discussed and viewed in different ways. Graff's theory of street smarts is extremely useful because it sheds insight on the difficult problem of social life being excluded from academic situations, but this is not to say that street smarts is more important than academic knowledge. When Graff contests that subjects should be...
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