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Flavor of the Month Why Smart People Fall for Fads

ISBN-10: 0520246268

ISBN-13: 9780520246263

Edition: 2006

Authors: Joel Best

List price: $31.95
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Description:

While fads such as hula hoops or streaking are usually dismissed as silly enthusiasms, trends in institutions such as education, business, medicine, science, and criminal justice are often taken seriously, even though their popularity and usefulness is sometimes short-lived. Institutional fads such as open classrooms, quality circles, and multiple personality disorder are constantly making the rounds, promising astonishing new developments--novel ways of teaching reading or arithmetic, better methods of managing businesses, or improved treatments for disease. Some of these trends prove to be lasting innovations, but others--after absorbing extraordinary amounts of time and money--are abandoned and forgotten, soon to be replaced by other new schemes. In this pithy, intriguing, and often humorous book, Joel Best--author of the acclaimedDamned Lies and Statistics--explores the range of institutional fads, analyzes the features of our culture that foster them, and identifies the major stages of the fad cycle--emerging, surging, and purging. Deconstructing the ways that this system plays into our notions of reinvention, progress, and perfectibility,Flavors of the Monthexamines the causes and consequences of fads and suggests ways of fad-proofing our institutions.
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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/10/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Joel Best is Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. He has published more than twenty books on social problems and deviance, including Threatened Children , Random Violence , Damned Lies and Statistics , and The Student Loan Mess (with Eric Best.)

Acknowledgments
The Illusion of Diffusion
Why We Embrace Novelties: Conditions That Foster Institutional Fads
The Fad Cycle: Emerging
The Fad Cycle: Surging
The Fad Cycle: Purging
Fad Dynamics
Becoming Fad-Proof
Notes
References
Index