The_Power_of_Context[1] - Shivam K Patel June 10, 2010 FD...

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Shivam K Patel June 10, 2010 FD The Power of Context During the 1980’s, the metropolis of New York experienced a substantial spike in its crime rates as a crack epidemic hit the city. The city was “contaminated” with graffiti and wastes, and criminals roamed among the citizens creating an environment and atmosphere full of criminal acts. Malcolm Gladwell’s essay, “The Power of Context”, provides us with an environmental line of reasoning suggesting that our behaviors are considerably affected by the environment we live in. According to Gladwell. if we live in an environment ridded with crime and pollution, our behaviors we will be negatively influenced. Malcolm Gladwell demonstrates numerous experiments and theories to us (The Broken Window Theory, The Epidemic Theory of Crime, Zimbardo Experiment) to validate his argument to us readers as being accurate and “realistic” in terms of everyday living. But, even with all of Gladwell’s evidence and supporting facts, the question still arises: Are we humans controlled by our own free will, or are we just a mere product of our environments? This issue has various beliefs but the fact of the matter is that our behaviors are profoundly influenced by the environment we live in. The situation and environment that we’re in have a formidable impact on our behaviors and actions (as suggested by “The Power of Context). It doesn’t matter if someone grew up in a sophisticated, affable community because, when placed in a malevolent environment, we will experience significant changes in our behaviors. We have no free will because free will cannot subsist in a community where our environment manipulates everything we do.
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Shivam Patel Pg.2 The environment we live in is the chief influence in determining our behaviors. In The Power of Context, we have a man in Bernie Goetz who, before he committed any unlawful actions, had been robbed and mugged numerous times. Goetz lived a life full on many atrocities and had many occurrences of criminal behavior against him (241). Gladwell declares that Goetz had already bared a gun in his possession before he boarded the train as a form of fortification directly resulted from his past, personal experiences. Gladwell also argues that Goetzs’ past
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2011 for the course ENGLISH CO 101 taught by Professor Eliasova during the Fall '09 term at Rutgers.

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The_Power_of_Context[1] - Shivam K Patel June 10, 2010 FD...

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