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Paddies And Math In Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers

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In a chapter titled “Rice Paddies and Math Tests” in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, Gladwell explains why it seems that Eastern Asians are always better at math than other ethnicities. Part of it has to do with the shortness of their numbers. A lot of their numbers have short, syllable-long pronunciations that increase their memory of number sequences, which allows them to perform mental math efficiently. This is why those of Eastern Asian heritage are often much better at math classes than those of American and European descent. Their language gives them a great benefit in the math area, and they are often very successful because of it. Other races struggle because of a lack of schooling or inadequate education in the past, such as African …show more content…
In a chapter titled “The Matthew Effect” we see that often, one’s success actually directly relates to the opportunities they receive. Gladwell compares this to the Canadian Hockey League, where those who have earlier birthdays in the year are pitted against those who have later birthdays in the year. Therefore, those who have earlier birthdays are often larger and a bit more skilled at hockey than their younger peers. As such, they get chosen by their coaches to receive extra training, and they end up becoming the pro hockey players that all Canadians see on the television and hear about on the news. If one had a roster of all of the players on a Professional Canadian hockey team, they would be surprised to find that most of the birthdays are in the months of January, February, and March. All those players received special treatment that helped them excel in hockey. African Americans were never given a chance like …show more content…
It was unnecessary for them to do so because slaves didn’t need those skills to accomplish the tasks their masters gave them. So, when slavery was abolished, African Americans found it quite hard to make it anywhere in life because they didn’t have vital everyday skills that people of other ethnicities had. And since they had no money or knowledge of their own, they couldn’t give their children the education they needed to make their way in the world. Alongside discrimination, those who were given the chance to get an education weren’t given they best they could’ve been, so their knowledge was still inadequate compared to their peers of other descents. This continued on for centuries to come, and it took the Civil Rights Movement to finally make the government push for a better education for African American children. This definitely did help, but the odds are still stacked in the favor of other nationalities. According to an article The Impact of Slavery on Racial Inequality in Poverty in the Contemporary U.S. South by Heather O’Connell, only 10.1% of non-Hispanic Whites today live in poverty. This is still sadly 1 out of 10 living in poverty, but it doesn’t compare at all to the level of poverty seen by the African American population. Over 25% of African Americans living in the U.S. are in poverty, 26.2% to be exact. In the United States, jobs are scarce and wages are receiving no small amount of

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