Gladwell Criticism

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Let’s get this straight first. I actually applaud Malcolm Gladwell for writing his book Outliers. His theories throughout the book touched ideas that I wouldn’t even begin to think about or question. He gave support for his theories and spent a lot of time describing occurrences that seemed to prove them (as you can guess I’m a bit skeptical about some). I actually enjoyed reading once I got myself to actually focus and read. You see, it’s not the type of book that you don’t want to put down; it’s more of the book that you can effectively read a chapter or two without getting bored. There were just some things that I had a problem with while reading this book that I can’t seem to wrap my head around.

Let’s start out on a positive note- I did agree with some of what Gladwell wrote. For instance, the theories about family backgrounds- whether you were from a middle class or poor family- and how they affect your attitude and composure. This idea seemed very logical and made a lot of sense. This is also true of the demographic luck theory. It provided facts that were very knowledgeable and tied the information into a nice logical knot. Another principle that seemed to be very logical was the theory regarding plane crashes; however I wouldn’t give credit for this to Gladwell completely because it seems that the people involved in reforming the program had more involvement in this theory. Regardless, it was very interesting and provided a good amount of proof and information to back it up. Lastly, I found the theory about why Asians are more advanced at math than their Western counterparts to be very interesting and rational. It made a lot of sense and was well portrayed in the book. Now on to the critiquing. One thing that really bothered me was the way he wrote the book. He jumped from one idea to another and then back again- most of the time it was very hard to follow. He would talk about one aspect of a theory, stop randomly, and make it seem...
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