The Popularity Contest

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: May 3, 2011

by Lianne Castelino

It is an interesting study.  Why are so many kids, especially tween and teens, interested in being part of the “in crowd” or “popular group”.  Does it have any cachet or is it merely a means of feeling secure and loved?  And what about those kids who are not considered 'popular'?  Are they held to a lesser standing than their counterparts?  If so, by who and why?

I've never understood cliques quite frankly and still don't.  I recently blogged about this topic (“What Pressure?) saying that peer pressure is a bizarre notion for a host of reasons.  Cliques are also meaningless in my opinion.  Isn't it better to talk to everyone rather than just like-minded people?  Or if you are an introvert, is it fair to be considered 'weird' or a 'geek' just because you are quiet?

Kids can be mean.  This is especially true in that tween and teen stage where physiological, emotional, environmental changes and development can confound seemingly clear issues.

Labelling is a slipperly slope.  We all do it to some degree in various aspects of life.  Some labels stick, morph into serious stereotypes and in the worst-case scenario can snowball into discrimination. 

In her new book, “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth,” New York Times bestselling author, Alexandra Robbins, examines this question.  Known for her keen investigative style of storytelling, Robbins follows a group of kids, both 'popular' and 'not popular' and makes some surprising discoveries along the way.

Among them, parents are guilty of feeding into that cliquish mentality for themselves and their children.  What's worse is they probably don't know they're guilty of it.

Watch video:    Alexandra Robbins Interview  Alexandra Robbins


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