In “Mega Marketing of Depression,” Ethan Watters talks about how culture of depression was evolved in Japan. Steven Johnson in “The Myth of the Ant Queen” talks about the pattern which were used to develop organized complexity. In “The Power of the Context,” Malcolm Gladwell talks about the circumstances which were responsible in changing individual’s behavior. Although, all of these essays are related to each other, culture or community doesn’t determine individual behavior rather individuals determine the culture.
Culture or community are easily manipulated by the individuals. Watters says, “During the early part of the twentieth century the concept of depression [in Japan] remained attached to the diagnosis of severe manic depression imported from … German neuropsychiatrists” (Watters 520). This German neuropsychiatrist came up with the concept of the depression and introduced it to Japan. His theory was so influential that the people of Japan started believing him and this resulted in changes in the culture of Japan.
Gladwell made the above argument clearer in his essay by saying, “Once one or two or three people began cheating the system, other people- who ight never otherwise have considered evading the law – would join in” (Gladwell 153). Community has a tendency to start following a certain individual who looks different from the society. People in the community do so for their own benefit. This explains that culture or community can easily be manipulated by the strong manipulation technique used by an individual. This type of behavior of an individual can have a negative impact on the society.
Due to the German psychiatrist, who came up the concept of depression, many other rich companies and individuals did the same thing for the fame and he money. For instance, Watters says, “Kirmayer remembers. “They were not trying to sell their drugs to us. They were interested in what we knew about how cultures shape the illness experience” ” (Watters 514). There was no evidence that the drug created by GlaxoSmithKline will help to cure the depression. “SSRIS don’t bring a patient’s brain chemistry back into balance, but rather broadly alter brain chemistry” (Watters 529).
GlaxoSmithKline did all the possible things to sell the drug called Paxil. They used advertisement to attract Japanese people. GlaxoSmithKline did that because he knew, once he get into the Japanese market, he can make billions of dollars. From this, it is clear that they were not interested in curing the disease, rather they trying to manipulate a big culture to sell a drug sold by an individual company. People from different communities tend to make their own culture when they start living together.
Johnson says, “The statistic on population growth alone capture the force of that explosion: a 1773 estimate had 24,000 people living in Manchester; the first official census in 1801 found 70,000” (Johnson 196). This explains that many people from different cultures and communities were coming in 1801 to live in Manchester. These people worked hard and made this a place to live for themselves without any government. In the case of demons, “If the first letter is a, the a- recognizing demon reports that it is highly likely that it has recognized a match”.
All the letters-recognizing demons would report to a master demon, who would tally up the votes for each letter” (Johnson 206). This states that all demons different from each other, hence one demon cannot work for other emon, but together they make a sequence which results in a program. In other words, different type of demons tend to make their own new culture. Individual change their own culture by learning from day to day experience. For instance, “previous police administrations had been handcuffed by restrictions,’ Bratton says, ‘we took the handcuffs off.
We stepped up enforcement of the laws against public drunkenness and public urination” (Gladwell 154). Further, Johnson in his essay explains the change by saying, “tackling such problems required a new approach: ‘the great central concerns of the biologist … re now being approached not only from above, with the broad view of the natural philosopher who scans the whole living world, but also from underneath, by the quantitative analyst who measures the underlying facts” (Johnson 204).
If there is a problem in the society or in the culture, individuals take initiative to rectify the problem to make the socie experience from the past, individuals came up with the approach which help them to tackle the problem. In this case, freedom from the restrictions tactic was used by individual to correct the problem that they were facing. These cultures are hanged by individuals from time to time for their own benefit. Individuals are responsible to change the society with a change in the environment.
A community was created in a small level by the group of social scientist at Stanford University. These people were chosen randomly and were separated in two groups; prisoner and guards. As individuals, they were normal but when they started working as group, the people acting as guards and prisoner changed their personality. “There were times when we were pretty abusive, getting right in their faces and yelling at them,’ one guard remembers”. After thirty-six hours, one prisoner began to get hysterical, and had to be released. Four better.
From more had to be released because of ‘extreme emotional depression, crying, rage, and acute anxiety” (Gladwell 158). This shows how guards tried to give an extreme torture to the prisoner. They forgot their real culture and society from which they were from, and started changing themselves with the new society. This explains that the change in environment had a great impact on individuals and therefore these individuals change their culture to survive in the environment. Individuals ave a tendency to make their culture stronger by working on smaller parts of the society.
Talking about the ants from Johnson’s essay, it is seen how work is done by an individual ant in an organized manner without any guidance from the leader. Johnson further talks about how the ant workers make chamber and tunnels. They also make a nest for the ant queen who is responsible for their future generation. “They’ve built the cemetery at exactly the point that’s furthest away from the colony” (Johnson 195). In short, building of chamber, tunnel or finding food is done individually to get best outcomes and ontinue their generation.
There can be great changes if the same technique used by ants is applied in New York. For instance, “Previous police administration had been handcuffed by restrictions,” Bartton says. We took the handcuffs off. We stepped up enforcement of the laws against public drunkenness and public urination and arrested repeat violators”. (Gladwell 154). This means that, if we as an individual start changing the society from a lower level, people will start cooperating. This further will affect the larger society at higher level such as state level which furthermore can affect at the country level.
Therefore, a small change by a small group of individuals can change the thinking of a big society. Although it will take time, the results will be enjoyed by every person living in that society. Most of the time, cultural complexity is based on what an individual plays a role in the society. For instance, Johnson says, that each demon plays an important role in making a full program working. He says, “”Lower-Level” demons shrieking to “Higher-Level” demons shrieking to higher ones” (Johnson 206). This means that each one of the demon is responsible for the program.
If one of the demon didn’t recognized its alphabet, the whole sequence could go wrong and hence program which will come out will be different from what expected. Thinking of program as a big culture or community, a small demon as a specific individual have power to change its society. Similarly, in the case of ants, each ant have specific role to do and have power to change its society. Queen ant can’t do labor work and worker ants can’t produce kids. Without one or the other, these colonies will not able to run in a proper manner and hence will not able to survive.
So individual plays a great role in keeping the society connected. In conclusion, individual have great power and can easily determine culture. Culture or society cannot be changed without an individual. Individual can manipulate the culture in both positive as well as in negative way. Proper thinking and good will can change the culture in a better way. If the individuals in the culture or society are strong and determined, culture or society will automatically be stronger. No doubt, individual have a lot of power but an individual is incomplete if it does not reside in the culture or society.