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Naisha Tobias


AP Statistics

21 October 2016

Summary: Outliers

Outlier \-,l(-)r\ noun

1. Something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or
related body.
2. A statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of
the sample
Published in 2008 and soon after becoming his third best-selling novel, Malcolm

Gladwells Outliers: The Story of Success aids in allowing readers to indulge in the secret to

success. Unlike his first nonfiction novel Tipping Point, which is concentrated on ones ability to

change their society, Outliers is an analysis of certain examinations of ones culture and the

societal conditions that aid to them becoming successful. Through various case studies, he

analyzes the reasons why some people are exceedingly more successful than most; hint the title

outliers. The Outliers, as Gladwell refers to the certain group of people all throughout the

novel, possess intelligence and different types of talent that are superior to the rest of the

population. Gladwell makes it clear that the myth mankind has made that these outliers rise

from nothing is false. The people who stand in before kings may look like they did it all by

themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and

extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and

make sense of the world in way others cannot, (Gladwell 19).

Gladwells Outliers novel is split into two parts: Part One: Opportunity and Part Two:

Legacy. Each section has a main focus on all case studies that apply to their title. Onto Part One:
Opportunity first, it consist of five chapters all on individuals that had an enate opportunity to be

successful. Chapter 1: The Matthew Effect, the second most acknowledged chapter/point in this

novel. Gladwell analyzes the astounding proportion of hockey players that are born in the

months of January-March, but why? Gladwell then goes on to explain that in school the cutoff

for selection to get into the team is the 1st of January, basically stating that kids who are born

earlier can be put on a more advanced team than the kids born through April-December. Thus

giving them the enate opportunity to have more advanced coaching which aids them in their

success. Chapter 2: The 10,000 Hour Rule. This chapter is what Gladwell is most famous for and

in the chapter he states that anyone who is great at something- drawing, singing, dancing, etc-

has practiced that something for about 10,000 hours in their life span. Chapters 3-5 continue with

the evaluation of cultural, and societal forces that affect the amount of success one has.

Going onto Part Two: Legacy, which consist of the remaining four chapters. Chapter 6:

Harlan, Kentucky. In this chapter, being the shortest chapter in the novel, gets straight to the

point; individuals that were born and raised in cultures that are stereotyped a certain way (to have

an attitude, low temper, disrespectful, etc) like a Southern state- like the one demonstrated in the

case study- will not just disappear, no matter how far you move away from it. Also in chapter 7,

continuing on the topic of culture, basically reiterates Hofstede's concept of power distance.

Hofstedes Power distance Index measures the extent to which the less powerful members of

organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed

unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above.

It suggests that a societys level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the

leaders,(Clearly Cultural). Chapters 8 and 9 switch back to societys impact on success. Chapter

8 stating that countries that have the tradition of growing rice, imbody civilians that are the best
at concentration and have the best work ethic. While the last chapter, (the one that most

American public school goers can relate too) in a nutshell if you make your youth work hard on

everyday task- school, chores, etc- they will do better in life. The last chapter is what every

parent/guardian tells their child, on the other hand though, some inforce it better than others.

Malcolm Gladwells success has continued to thrive with the release of this novel. In his

epilogue he applies some of his case studies to his personal life. Gladwell thoroughly explains

the societal and cultural conditions that allow his mother and his grandparents to thrive in


Works Cited

Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. 1st ed. New York: Little, Brown and

Company, 2008 Print

Thomas, Amanda I. "Power Distance Index." Clearly Cultural. Clearly Cultural, June-July 2011.

Web. Oct.-Nov. 2016.