Gender Roles In Malcolm Gladwell's The Power Of Context

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The societal perception of how each gender should behave has molded individuals to behave in that manner; whether they try to change their behaviors, subconsciously they can 't because of societal views and expectations. Malcolm Gladwell, in “The Power of Context” introduces his ideas of fixing “broken windows” to change the environment which in return should have a positive effect on the citizens of New York City. He proposes that cleaning up New York by charging citizens of small crimes will eventually stop citizens from committing larger crimes. To help this, Commissioner William Bratton takes total control of New York City police department. Bratton, being a male in society, made it easier for him to get the job done. Gladwell states “it…show more content…
The entire society never really knows the true them. Gladwell would impose that “our inner states are the result of our outer circumstances” meaning that we are products of our environment, or immediate social context (157). The way being a women affected Jayanthi immediate social context is by her having promiscuous relationships without her family knowing. Gladwell would impose that the power of her social context, which is one of a traditional Hindu family where she is supposed to have one sexual encounter would make Jayanthi behave in that manner. Although she goes against this she is not in control of her identity because her new immediate social context that shapes her. Bell states Jayanthi’s bad-girl mentality allowed her “to control her identity, rather than having it controlled by either her family or the men she encountered” (34). Jayanthi believes that she is finding herself by changing her social context, but in reality she 's becoming a product of her new environment. The first man she had feelings for, played her and after she “vowed not to be played by a man again” (32). This experience is what cause Jayathi to take up this bad-girl persona in hopes to find herself. Unfortunately she is unable to because she just becomes like the men who played her, and starts playing men. Her identity becomes one of her new social…show more content…
Goetz is a man who shot and injured four men in a subway after claiming that they bothered him for money. The environment in which Goetz resides in is one of dishonesty, and high crime. So according to Gladwell’s theory, Goetz would be a man to lie about what he did. But Goetz does not. That is evident when asked why he shot them, he replied “I don 't know why I did it” (150). This defiance of his social context is based on the fact that society perceives men as aggressive and honest so Goetz didnt have to be in denial about his intentions like the women in the other two essays did. Such as the women ashamed of their sexual desires, and forming a secret book-club. As a result of Goetz defiances, the people of New York City viewed Goetz as the “Subway Vigilante” and “ he was treated as a hero” (150). So when a man doesn’t conform to what his environment is like, he is praised and considered a hero. Whereas a woman who tries to go against her social context to find herself fails at it because of her subconscious thoughts of what society expects from her. Alicia strives to not end up in poverty, a single mother, and a statistic of her environment so she seeks meaningful relationships. As a result, she focused on getting her education and advancing her social class, but still not luck with love. A reason for this is because how she behaves in society. Bell states that women are
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