PRLog - Sep. 2, 2014 - HOUSTON -- Who and what is a sociologist?
Gladwell, a staff writer at “The New Yorker” since 1996, is the author five “New York Times” best-seller books: “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”, “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking”, “Outliers:
He has increased his popularity beyond the mass consumption of his books through savvy use of social media and connection with the nonprofit TED, which produces the now ubiquitous TED Talks videos and annual conferences that can turn academics into social media superstars.
TED describes Gladwell as a “detective of fads and emerging subcultures, chronicler of jobs-you-never-
Lee says Gladwell’s ability to shape and redirect popular understanding of sociology concepts makes his work an excellent framework for exploring how human action and consciousness shape and are shaped by cultural and social structures.
“Students will assess how the ‘Gladwellian’
Lee notes the goal of sociology as a discipline is to go beyond assumptions about life to form theories and insights based on a more critical evaluation of human conditions. That goal is similar to how Gladwell uses scientific research to dispel well accepted assumptions or to start a new conversation on other ways to think about how humans engage in their social surroundings.
He said Gladwell’s book, “Outliers,”
“Most people are curious about how or why certain people achieve extraordinary levels of success while others fall short. In the case of ‘Outliers,’
“He uses scientific data collected by leading social scientists and intriguing stories throughout the book to present a complex picture of how the achievement of success cannot be reduced to a simple formula. So students then are able to see how scientific research can be relevant toward seeing how the world works and in understanding their place in that world.”
Lee was inspired to design the course, “Malcolm Gladwell’s Sociology,” after he assigned “Outliers”
“Scholar texts don’t have nearly the same impact on teaching students to think more sociologically than ‘Outliers,’
About the University of Houston
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