“Biographies of Hegemony,” by Karen Ho
“Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society,” by Joseph E. Stiglitz
“The Power of Context,” Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes our perception of selfhood by attesting that our behaviors are subject to the immediate context rather than being determined by our discrete personalities. In our previous discussion on Stiglitz, Ho and Davidson, we explore the construction of the elitist mentality that is produced and reproduced by “the culture of smartness.” It seems that the choices made by teachers, CEOs and Ivy League graduates are influenced by the hegemonic culture or ideology. For paper five, you are asked to bring Gladwell, Stiglitz, and Ho into dialogue on the topic of human behavior.
How do context, character and culture interact with each other to influence human behavior and choice of action?
Here are some thought questions to get you started on this prompt. Please do not answer these questions as a list for the purposes of organizing your paper – that approach will not lead you to success. Instead, use these questions to begin understanding the prompt above, and to begin formulating your own, independent, textually based response. Remember that your paper must quote directly from the readings.
1/ Gladwell mentions “Broken Windows Theory” (152). What is its relationship with “the Power of Context” and how does this Theory help to explain the cause of crime?
2/ Why is it a mistake to think of “character as something unified and all-encompassing” (159)? What does it imply?
3/ What counts as abnormal behavior? What are the causes of abnormal behavior?
4/ Does Gladwell’s view suggest that humans are more free than previously thought, or that their behavior is more fully determined?
First Rough Draft Due: ONE hard copy in class on Wednesday, November 27. Please upload (as an attachment) to Assignments on Sakai by 1:00 PM on Tuesday, November 27.
Second Rough Draft Due: ONE hard copy in class on Friday, November 30. Please upload (as an attachment) to Assignments on Sakai by 1:00 PM on Friday, November 30.
Final Draft Due: Please upload (as an attachment) to Assignments on Sakai by 1:00 PM on Friday, December 07.
Late rough drafts will result in a half-letter grade deduction from the final draft. Late final drafts will result in a full-letter grade deduction from the final draft.
Required formatting: stapled, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-pt. font (Times New Roman), MLA format (Your headers, page numbers, and quotations should be formatted properly.)