Competition Is All About Perception

Hutcheon’s article discusses the topic of how rhetoric and competition fit well together. Her driving point in the article is that it seems post-secondary institutions have developed to a more individualistic environment with heavier emphasis on one own’s success through victory over the peers. The idea of cooperation in the academic setting is no longer as important, rather criticism of other’s idea and proving a speaker wrong is more prominent these days.

Her argument ties into Bateson’s article, that our society has strong emphasis of individualism through competition at birth. However, she argues that this is an incorrect way of development as we are biological meant to work with one another.

Both authors refer to competition as something that is hindering education and society. However, I do not believe this to be the case. The reason being is because that I think the benefits or disadvantages of competition is based on one own’s perception. Taking a look at my own experience throughout university, the idea of competition in the classes that I have taken is rather low or nonexistent. Since for the most part, there is a sense of isolation in most classes. Students tend to keep to themselves rather than looking for others to compete with.

On the topic of criticism, I would like to refer to caitlynhtlt1801’s response, they mention that an opinion can be “additive” or “subtractive” based on how our language is delivered to receiver. Which means that peoples’ criticism on others works is not just based on the idea of crushing the competition but also poor delivery of one’s thoughts and opinions


  1. I think students keeping to themselves in class doesn’t properly exemplify what a lack of competition in the classroom is. Students can be discussing and being overall social without the presence of competition. Competition in the classroom is students trying to beat other students and be the ‘winner’. Students may keep to themselves as a way of being competitive by not helping others, or isolated students may keep to themselves if they believe they are lower in the ‘pecking order’ or they have previously been victim to “wolfish belittling” caused by competition. Overall I still think it would only be beneficial if there was a decrease in competition within the classroom and an increase in supportive collaboration.


  2. this is a valid argument and i do agree that this can also be the case in come situation in classrooms. However, I’ve personally haven’t experienced much of this pressure in my classes.


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