Essay about Gladwell's Tipping Point

1513 Words Mar 12th, 2006 7 Pages
Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point offers a fascinating and insightful way to think about the issue of epidemics. Those elements Gladwell believes are the basis for why epidemics start allows the reader to think about their world in a way they never thought they could. I would not have thought of Sesame Street or Blue's clues as being defined as epidemics. When one thinks of an epidemic, one thinks of AIDS, or some form of disease so widespread that it must be contained and a cure provided to keep the disease in check from spreading further. Therefore, after reading the book, the reader is left with a new perspective to "look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken" (Gladwell, 2002, pg. 80). Those things in everyday life that we …show more content…
There are no instances where he does not provide the reader with an example to demonstrate his points, to provide a basis from which to get a better understanding of the terminology and concepts used. The effective use of practical examples by Gladwell throughout the book allows the reader to become an interactive reader not a passive reader. If the examples he used in the book did not apply to the lives of the readers then Gladwell would loose the reader. He truly does promote the idea that "we are attuned to personal cues than contextual cues. The reader would not continue to read on and stop and think of examples in their own lives. For example, his use of the study of cultural microrhythms by William Condon and his use of his experience with Tom Gau to further demonstrate the meaning of interactional synchrony.
What Gladwell does not do effectively is provide numerous examples of ideas/behaviors/products that did not result in epidemics. A chapter should have been devoted to showing just why something would not result in an epidemic so that a balance is met showing both sides of the picture to answer his fundamental question of why some things become epidemics and others do not.
Gladwell, at the start of the book, portrays epidemics as incidental, out of the hands of the individual as in the Hush Puppies example. But then all other examples are set up as being intentional, that people can make epidemics happen. Epidemics,