Garcia et al. and Molina

Is competition necessary or is it a social construct? Many authors of the readings we have done in class give off a vibe of anti-competitiveness. Bateson emphasizes that humans will only survive by thinking and acting together, but not as competitive organisms.

Hutcheon believes that competition only causes conflict and is harmful in educational environments. Garcia et al. provides a clear counter argument towards competition in academia, explaining that it is paramount in some areas to boost productivity. For example, promoting competition during an exam or a test may boost achievement motivation for the students. But Garcia et al. still agrees that competition may be harmful in all other aspects of learning, especially for topics not yet covered.

Molina also provides a very interesting, but different perspective that may contradict Garcia et al. Garcia notes competitiveness increases when the number of competitors decrease as well as the individuals similarity and closeness to another. However, Molina states that in hunter-gatherer societies, cooperation is still stressed over competition despite these societies only consisting of around 30 or so individuals. Perhaps there is still heavy competition between hunters in these societies, but not to the point as to where they must undermine one another.

In Elise’s reading response, she says that society always put competition and cooperation against one another. This statement, from my experiences, is somewhat true because we are always taught to cooperate from a young age. Competitiveness is usually painted in a worse light when compared to cooperation which makes it hard for us to see both sides without any biases.

In my opinion, cooperation and competition are both essential and can coexist, echoed in Molina’s article. Competition may be needed in some avenues to improve and better yourself as a person. Without social comparison, people are not able to strive for better and have a goal to aim towards. Cooperation on the other hand is needed for tasks that one individual can not over come. Similar to Bateson, humans do need to act together in certain moments to overcome certain hurdles in life.


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  1. Hi there! I enjoyed reading your response, and what specifically caught my attention was your thought about competition being needed sometimes to improve oneself. I agree with this statement, but I think that there must be a limit to how far one will go. In today’s society people are always wanting to outdo one another, as this instils feelings of superiority and increased self-esteem. So, I question where we should draw the line between healthy competition for purposeful reasons, and competition simply in order to exceed one’s peers?


  2. Thanks for your interesting reading response, i really like your response for you had done a comprehensive understanding of each article we read. Also I agreed with your opioion “cooperation and competition are both essential and can coexist”, in our modern life, it is true that we need competition to make us more incentive and give people a goal to purse, and cooperation is also inevitable for us to overcome some hard cases and move forward. But for myself, I don’t like to compete with others very well, because I don’t like the kind of oppression and uneasiness that competition brings to me.What is your idea about this issue? Thank you!


  3. That is a hard question to answer and may entirely on the context of the situation. Especially sports, the line may be too hard to identify.


  4. I believe competition may be healthy if both parties understand the situation entirely. If the sole purpose is to one-up another then I find that oppressive as well. However, if it is all in good fun and the purpose is to gauge your own skill level then it can be very beneficial.


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