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The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good…
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The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are… (original 2018; édition 2018)

par Jonathan Haidt

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6991924,289 (4.16)15
A finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction A New York Times Notable Book  Bloomberg Best Book of 2018 The New York Times bestseller! Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising--on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen? First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn't kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being and ancient wisdom from many cultures.  Embracing these untruths--and the resulting culture of safetyism--interferes with young people's social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths. They explore changes in childhood such as the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. They examine changes on campus, including the corporatization of universities and the emergence of new ideas about identity and justice. They situate the conflicts on campus within the context of America's rapidly rising political polarization and dysfunction. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.… (plus d'informations)
Membre:rsanek
Titre:The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
Auteurs:Jonathan Haidt
Info:Penguin Books, Kindle Edition, 352 pages
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Mots-clés:to-read, goodreads_import

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The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure par Greg Lukianoff (2018)

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» Voir aussi les 15 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 19 (suivant | tout afficher)
This book started out well. It deals with many of the changes occurring in our society, and especially on campus, as the latest generation grows up to expect an environment where they are never offended or have their beliefs challenged. The authors write well, and detail the problems with excellent insight. It's too bad that, in their discussion of the Great Untruths passed on by adults, that they perpetrate a great untruth themselves: the untruth that no one can hurt us unless we allow them to. A socially acceptable form of victim blaming, they repeat this in close to every chapter. In addition, they are wearing blinders or are somewhat naive. In discussing why young girls have a high suicide attempt rate, they miss the most obvious reason, one frequently stated by the young women: the crap that they get every day on social media sites they are afraid to depart for fear of losing all their social life. The level of misogyny and violent threats is barely noted in the book. In addition, they seem to think the best time in the US was the period from FDR to the early 1960s, and since then, things have become too focused on "identity". In short, the best thing of all is when white men rule unchallenged, women remain in the home with few economic, social, or political rights, and people of color are segregated. I suspect this isn't really what they meant from other things they say, but in the end, the message is loud and clear. Especially when they use a couple of Title IX examples to represent poor thinking, when they don't have any data to support their position, and there is a lot of data to support the opposite position - that women are being kept out of many areas of life by misogyny, not by lack of interest. It is a common thing I see in books on critical thinking; they will do a beautiful job until they come to one particular spot, and then it all falls apart. Overall, a worthwhile book, but with significant flaws. ( )
  Devil_llama | Jun 3, 2021 |
"Words can cause stress, and therefore harm, but words are not violence. Speech is not violence."

Unfortunately, this quote is quite controversial in the world today. Many will disagree with it, and many more may slightly disagree with it. And what we're left with is a slow, chipping-away of mental fortitude. It's a fine line, I understand that, because verbal and emotional abuse is a real. What is needed is some gray area overlap but how much to include and how much to leave out is an ongoing point of contention. In our effort to protect the vulnerable, we're causing others to become even more vulnerable.

"Now, the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you," Roberts said. "I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty."
- Chief Justice John Roberts, from a commencement speech he gave for his son's school graduation in 2017

Another concept I wholeheartedly agree with and practice whenever I can but never knew it had a formal definition is The Principle of Charity. From Wikipedia, "In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity or charitable interpretation requires interpreting a speaker's statements in the most rational way possible and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation." I love this idea because it invests the back-and-forth of argument with the best intentions to arrive at the best possible conclusion. But it requires enlightened, far-sighted thinking from at least one of the arguing parties for it to work well.

And to borrow one more quote from the book, "Strive to be a fire in the wind, not a candle." ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Mar 1, 2021 |
Thoughts and take-aways:

1. Excellent book, though disturbing. Published in 2017, but strangely prescient of political happenings in 2020/2021. It's not just adolescents who experience the myths described in the early chapters.
2. I'm struggling with what to *do* with this information. I want to engage with students on these topics and see if they agree. I want to push against the need for safety described in the book, but I don't know that it will do any good. ( )
  spothoven | Jan 26, 2021 |
Jonathan Haidt is one of my favorite writers. He is, on all accounts, one of the most empathetic, clear and organized thinkers I have read. (And - I do recognize the book was co-written also by Greg Lukianoff, who I hadn't read before.)

The Coddling of the American Mind is about seeking wisdom in how we educate the next generation. They are, like many others, observing drastic changes occurring around the country, diagnosing the problem and offering suggestions. In a world of increasing polarization, they are attempting to speak from the middle, which is a radical (and dangerous) place to stand.

Here's their outline:
Part 1 - Three Bad Ideas
Chapter 1 - The Untruth of Fragility: What doesn't kill you makes you weaker.
Chapter 2 - The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always trust your feelings.
Chapter 3 - The Untruth of Us Verses Them: Life is a battle between good people and evil people

Part 2 - Bad Ideas in Action
Chapter 4 - Intimidation and violence
Chapter 5 - Witch Hunts

Part 3 - How did we get here?
Chapter 6 - The Polarization Cycle
Chapter 7 - Anxiety and Depression
Chapter 8 - Paranoid Parenting
Chapter 9 - The Decline of Play
Chapter 10 - The Bureaucracy of Safetyism
Chapter 11 - The Quest for Justice

Part 4 - Wising Up
Chapter 12 - Wiser Kids
Chapter 13 - Wiser Universities
Conclusion - Wiser Societies

In part one, their goal is to observe the shift that has occurred on college campuses, particularly around the new culture of "safety," explaining the three great untruths stated above, which undergird the movement.

Part two describes these great untruths in action, looking at the "shoutdowns," intimidation, and occasional violence experienced on college campuses, which is making university's core missions of educaion and research more difficult.

Behind it all, in part three they lay out 6 factors and trends that explain how we got here. And in part four, they give some advice on how we are to go forward as parents and educators.

Each chapter provides a bullet-pointed summary of the content (which I always appreciate).

Overall, I felt their arguments were compelling. And the situation on college campuses is worse than I realized. The level of civil discourse seems (to me) to be spiraling, and I hope the trends will reverse. This book is actively working to do just that.

As I mentioned, they are working to speak from the middle, so to speak, and find wisdom for moving forward. And because we are becoming more and more polarized, being shoveled to the right and left, some of what they say may bother or frustrate you. Yet, there is too much wisdom to ignore it or write them off. Name-calling is not only unhelpful, it merely perpetuates the problem. Simply put, this book ought to be required reading for educators, parents, and people concerned about social justice.

To counter their "great untruths," they repeatedly reference these three quotes:
Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child. -Folk Wisdom

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much, not even your father or your mother. -Buddha

The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ( )
  nrt43 | Dec 29, 2020 |
Insightful and pragmatic and ultimately, hopeful. Just a lot of things that one might suspect in context. ( )
  shaundeane | Sep 13, 2020 |
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Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.

- FOLK WISDOM, origin unknown

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much, not even your father or your mother.

- BUDDHA, Dhammapada

The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.

- ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN, The Gulag Archipelago
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For our mothers, who did their best to prepare us for the road.
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This is a book about wisdom and its opposite.
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. . . a Great Untruth, which we laid out in the introductory chapter: it contradicts ancient wisdom, it contradicts modern psychological research on flourishing, and it harms the individuals and communities that embrace it.
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A finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction A New York Times Notable Book  Bloomberg Best Book of 2018 The New York Times bestseller! Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising--on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen? First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn't kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being and ancient wisdom from many cultures.  Embracing these untruths--and the resulting culture of safetyism--interferes with young people's social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths. They explore changes in childhood such as the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. They examine changes on campus, including the corporatization of universities and the emergence of new ideas about identity and justice. They situate the conflicts on campus within the context of America's rapidly rising political polarization and dysfunction. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.

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