Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Outliers & Cultural Legacies - Chapter 6

[Outliers Reading Group]

In chapter 6 of Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell highlights cultural legacies. He opens with disturbing descriptions of how longstanding cultural patterns and beliefs influenced violent conflicts among generations of families in Kentucky during the 19th century.

The compelling research findings concerning long-term and deeply held values led Gladwell to the conclusion that cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them. He goes on to note the possibilities of “taking cultural legacies seriously” in order to learn “why people succeed and how to make people better.”

It’s worth noting that highlighting cultural legacies can easily give way to problematic racial and gendered generalizations—generalizations we have necessarily been inclined to critique or avoid.

How did his narratives or claims alter or confirm your views about the significance of cultural legacies?

19 comments:

Tashawna N. said...

Before reading this chapter I never considered how we react to certain things to be a cultural legacy, with that said, the claims that were made in the narratives altered my view about the significance of cultural legacies. Cultural legacies can really influence our behavior and how we respond to certain things but I believe that understanding your cultural legacy and that of others could allow you to find a better way to react.

Olivia Slater said...

When I read chapter 6, I felt as though it was generalizing society, and making claims that are less and less true as the world evolves. Yes, we are influenced by our parents, but I do not agree to the extent that Gladwell believes. My mother is white, I am white and African American. Her parents are extremely racist, however she did not pick up those same views. I think every case and every person is different, and the impact that ancestors have on newer generations is based on both the older and newer generations personalities and their willingness to be persuaded.

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

Gladwell states at the end that we could learn from these cultural legacies and I agree with him. I think we can learn from them, however,I do not think that we should depend on them as our explanation for the way we do things in the present day.

Taylor Morgan said...

I agree with Gladwell when it comes to generation after generation repeating patterns they have learned from their parents. People either accept teachings from their parents or they deny them. If a teaching was to continuously be accepted, a legacy could last for a very long time.

Jasmine Williams said...

I agree with Gladwell that cultural legacies are passed through each generation. However, I disagree with the intensity in which this occurs. In general, I'd say that a majority of core values are passed between generations. But as the world changes and more opinions are created, the newer generations are more likely to make opinions for themselves. This decreases the strength of cultural legacies.

Ta'Mara Woodson said...

People learn from their parents. They can accept the cultural legacies or either reject them. I do agree with him because they are passed from generation to generation, but new generations are making their own opinions and sort of turning their backs on the cultural legacies.

Brianna Reed said...

After reading the chapter and then some of the other posts, I must say I agree with Ms. Olivia Slater. I believe that the strength a cultural legacy will posses over a person all depends on that person. A whole family can embrace a certain view and still have one individual who chooses to disagree with that view, the same idea applies here. Although people do tend to repeat the past and follow cultural patterns, when it becomes a realization that those patterns are not necessarily beneficial nor sources of progression the pattern can indeed change.

Heidi Looker said...

I found the information in chapter 6 to be very interesting. I have always been interested in how people act depending on their backgrounds or in this case their cultural legacies. This chapter confirmed many of my ideas and opinions on cultural legacies. When a person is raised in a certain environment and around certain things they have a tendency to act the same way. I do believe the norms can be broken though and a person can escape from their cultural legacies if they truly wish to.

Jacquesia H. said...

The chapter made me think about cultural legacies and how they affect our lives daily. Cultural legacies, I believe, have also created some stereotypes and cause us to look at cultures very harshly as far as the way we define and describe one another..

Mikaela Suggs said...

I agree that individuals can not only learn from cultural legacies, but also why they are so important. It is said that history repeats itself whether it was something good or bad and this may be a prime example. Having a deep understanding of cultural legacies can help you be better than your ancestors and respond to situations in a better manner than some may have in the past.

Tayla Myles said...

The narratives helped solidify my belief in cultural legacies. People tend to behave the way that they were brought up, and chapter six was able to prove that. But I do believe that some people can escape from this kind of thinking, not everybody is a product of their up bringing.

Alicia Sears said...

Chapter 6 was very interesting to me because race is one of the most controversial subjects. Cultural legacies often play a big part of our lives but I feel that every generation should try to better themselves and not hold stereotypes or cultural legacies accountable for their actions. Alicia S

Tracee Williams said...

I feel that cultural legacies are something that need to be broken. So many people use these legacies to stereotype and most times this is negative. I feel regardless if you have a rich cultural legacy or a negative one, you should make the effort to add to the legacy in a positive way. go for being the out of norm stereotype for your race so that you can break the negativity.

Paris Smith said...

I agree with Gladwell when he says that patterns repeats generation after generation because I learned a lot from my mom and my grandmother and I found that in my family, we do a lot of the same things but there are also differences as well.

Tiera Williams said...

Cultural legacies are a big part of today's generation whether a person decided to accept it or not. Whether good or bad I feel like the goal of every individual should not be to prove or disprove a cultural legacy. I feel like the goal of every individual should be to create their own cultural legacy and lead by example in his or her everyday lives. Reading chapter 6 just strengthened my viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Gladwell's claim confirmed my original thoughts of your ancestors geographical location having an affect on your attitude and personality. He did this by showing how your family and upbringing can still affect you regardless of where you grew up or what school you attended. Regardless of this, I think this does not completely determine how we react and handle everything.
****Brittany Perry

Terri McFadden said...

I agree with Gladwell in terms of cultural legacies because culture is not necessarily taught but it is picked up by children. For example, if a person grows up with a surrounding where they have to fight to get respect they will carry that into their new neighborhood without trying to because they are somewhat trained this way.

YaqKeha Witherspoon said...

I agree with Jaleelah. That we should take the legacies and learn from them. However, I disagree when she said that we should not use them to explain our behavior in the present. Because the past does effect the present, and sometimes yesterday's behaviors contribute to today's.

Fiona Hill said...

I agree with Gladwell to a certain extent: cultural legacies exist and we do learn and get our core values from our parents. However, some views that our parents have are not shared with us. I believe that with time, people develop their own values and their own ways of thinking; everything we believe in is not because our family believed in it first- some ideas we develop on our own.