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.