Essays on Conformity

Around the world, the infrastructure of every society is welded together by the conformity of its citizens. This Conformity has been defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “Behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions” (Oxford 2018). These “conventions” are widely accepted and traditionally proven methods of operation that allow societies to accomplish their collective goals.

Conformity vs. Rebellion in Story Bartleby the Scrivener
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Conformity and rebellion are evil twins that humanity has been nourishing since the beginning of civilization. As we conform to the social norms that surround us everyday, we are trapped inside of this overwhelming system where we easily lose ourselves as individuals. On the other hand, the urges of rebellion that live in our ego compel us to break from the state of our bondages. Yet, our superegos are trying to keep us in a reasonable threshold, and enable us…...
Bartleby The ScrivenerConformityRebellion
Conformity and Obedience Essay
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From the moment we are born we enter a society where it is the norm to conform and obey. From a very young age we learn that if we do not obey then we will suffer the consequences for these actions. People within society have a desire to be accepted and to belong; whether to a group or a family this social influence can change our thoughts, feeling and even our behaviour. So can we truly be an individual or…...
ConformityConformity And ObedienceObediencePhilosophyPsychology
Social Psychology and Science: Some Lessons From Solomon Asch
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This essay will discuss Asch’s conformity experiment conducted in 1951 specifically in America and some of the critics the experiment has. However, Asch’s (1951) study was aimed at discovering whether or not the majority would influence a minority even in an unambiguous situation. He used the line judgment task, all the participants were shown two cards, one displaying three vertical lines of different sizes and the other displaying only one, and they were asked to match the line on one…...
ConformityConformity And ObedienceDeceptionExperimentPeer Pressure
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The Asch Conformity Experiments
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Solomon Asch in the year 1951 carried out an experiment on group conformity. Conformity is or can be said to be the act of matching attitudes beliefs, and behaviors to group norms, of which norms are implicit, specific rules, shared by a group of individuals, that guide their interactions with others. People often choose to conform to society rather than to pursue personal desires because it is often easier to follow the path others have already made or taken, rather…...
ConformityConformity And ObedienceExperimentPeer Pressure
The Asch Experiment – The Power of Peer Pressure
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Asch’s conformity experiment was conducted by Solomon Asch. Therefore, the aim of his study was to reveal how someone’s own opinions can be influenced by social pressure from a majority group. However, the purpose of this academic essay is to criticize Asch’s 1951 experiment on group conformity. Hence, this essay will begin by giving out the background of the experiment and as well as to know the group conformity, thereafter criticisms of the study will follow in the main body,…...
ConformityConformity And ObedienceExperimentPeer PressureSociety
Society and Culture – Conformity and Nonconformity
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The dictionary describes conformity as a harmony of the established practice. In other words, conform simply means to change one’s thoughts in order to comply with rules, or general customs. Altering our behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs to match those people around us, and adjusting one’s behavior to coincide with a group standard. People tend to conform to different reasons. They may want to belong to a particular group, or they may feel the need to conform because of a lack…...
AdolescenceBehaviorConformityConformity And ObedienceFashionSkateboarding
What is Conformity?
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Conformity is a phenomenon through which the values or attitudes of people within a group are affected by others. People can be influenced through subtle mechanisms, including subconscious ones, or through direct and open peer pressure. Conformity can have either good or bad effects on people, ranging from safe driving on the right side of the road to a dangerous drug or alcohol abuse. Numerous factors, such as group size, unanimity, unity, rank, previous engagement, and public opinion all help…...
Why Do Individuals Conform: Conformity In Children?
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Conformity is the term used for a change in human behaviour that is in accordance with the behaviour of the group. (Beran, 2015) This change of behaviour may occur as a result of a variety of factors, but the main element of conformity is that it is influenced socially. In other words, it could be considered a consequence of group pressure (Crutchfield, 1955) or it can be defined as an adjustment of a person’s previous behaviour in the submission of…...
The Idea Of Conformity Vs. Non Conformity
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The dictionary describes conformity as a harmony of the established practice. In other words, conform simply means to change one’s thoughts in order to comply with rules or general customs. Altering our behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs to match people around us and adjusting one’s behavior to coincide with a group standard. People tend to conform to for countless reasons. They may want to belong to a particular group or may feel the need to conform because of a lack of…...
The real meaning of obedience to authority
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The main focus of this synthesis paper is to determine the real meaning of obedience to authority. In this paper the author will be using three resources namely: Opinions and Social Pressure by Solomon E. Asch (1955), The Mind is a formidable jailer: A Pirandellian prison by Philip G. Zimbardo (1973) and The Perils of Obedience by Stanley Milgram. In Asch’s paper he tried to explain the effect of others’ opinion to our own. In short, he tried to answer…...
 Literary works express both the common and the individual
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Explore this statement critically using one or more of the literary works discussed in the lectures on literature so far. Literary works express both the common and the individual. In the context of H. G. Wells’s short story, The Country of the Blind, Nunez, a mountaineer who accidentally fell to the enclosed, secluded and self-sufficient valley in the Ecuadorian Andes, was the only person capable of sight there. He struggled to reign over the Country of the Blind through persuasion…...
Critical Evaluation of Group Experiments’ Contribution
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Paper Type:Evaluation essays
Brown (1996, p44) provides a utilitarian definition of groups which goes to the heart of the experimental perspective on groups: "We define an aggregate of people as a group if we can discern two aspects. First, that individuals think of themselves as group members who experience a sense of belongingness and a common sense of identity. Second, that participants have psychological effects on each other which includes affective, cognitive and behavioural aspects". This definition sets up a position which highlights…...
My First Conk About Blind Conformity in Society
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In today's world it is often difficult to adjust to one type of lifestyle or another. The constant bombardment of outside opinions hamper our ability, as humans, to choose and be comfortable with a certain way of living. Our way of living may consist of a look, a way of thinking, a religion, or any facet of our personalities that may not conform with whatever is the norm or the accepted at a given time. When this is the case,…...
ConformityMalcolm XPsychologySociety
Beloning in A Clockwork Orange and Film the Wrestler
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The concept of belonging is essential. To belong is to form a connection which will allow a sense of identity to manifest, without this we lose our humanity; however, conformity is in a sense a facade of belonging, as it restrains our freedom and forces us to only mimic. My studied texts show how society demands us to conform, yet conformity prevents a sense of true identity being created. This notion is elaborated within the novel, A Clockwork Orange, a…...
A Clockwork OrangeConformityFilmFree WillPhilosophySociety
Grevalent Cause of Social Problems – Group Pressure
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In the 1950s, a famous psychologist Solomon Asch conducted an experiment geared towards determining the extent to which pressure from a dominant individual affected the decisions made by other participants. Hence, in this academic writing will criticize Asch's 1951 experiment on group conformity. According to Brain (2000), the first criticism is based on the age of the participants which reflected their level of experience in life related matters and they were all male subjects. Hence, there has been evidence to…...
ConformityPressureProblemsSocial Problems
Asch’s 1951 Experiment
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This academic writing will criticize Asch's 1951 experiment on group conformity. The criticism include lack of ecological underpinnings culture, sex and age of the participant of the experiment as well as the sample bias. According to Hill (2001) the Asch conformity experiment had no ecological underpinnings. This simply means that the experiment and the findings could not apply in most real life situations. This is because the environment under which the experiment was conducted was controlled and there was no…...
Influence By Peer Pressure Experiment
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The results of the experiment were very interesting. They showed that the answers given could to a significant percentage be influenced by peer pressure. The participants that were not subjected to peer pressure gave the correct answers to all but one question. On the other hand the participants surrounded by the people giving wrong answers, invariably gave more wrong answers. Brain (2000) claims that at least 75% of the participants gave the wrong answer to at least one question. In…...
ConformityExperimentInfluencePeer Pressure
Solomon Asch Biography and Works
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He set out to study social influences and how social forces affect a person's opinions and attitudes (Wren, 1999). After studying earlier psychologists, Asch noted that participants in these past studies often changed their differing opinions to those of the majorities, when confronted with opposing views. The results of the experiment showed that the answers given could to a significant percentage be influenced by peer pressure this was due to the fact that the participants that were not subjected to…...
How Peer Pressure Affects On Person?
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Conformity according to psychology is the tendency of an individual to follow unspoken rules or behaviours of the social group they belong. Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. Allen (1968).There are several critisms about his theory. Asch used a biased sample, all participants were male of the same age group meaning the experiment lacked population validity. It can not be generalised to a…...
ConformityPeer PressurePsychology
Social Influence – Compliance and Obedience
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Emotion and Arousal William James - Your body is telling you "you are afraid". For every situation there is a response Canon-Bard - two-factor theory of emotion. Your physical response is the dame as when you are in love. We can miss attribution. Misattribution of arousal. Zillman (1979) - unrelated event - physical arousal - intensifies your response in another situation. Misattribution. Arousal from another source. Interpretation of the arousal in state in which is aggression appropriate. What is truth?…...
BiasConformityConformity And ObedienceInfluenceObedience
The capacity of one individual to influence the decision making
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The capacity of one individual to influence the decision making of others within the same group has been a major worldwide phenomenon especially among adolescents. However, in the 1950s a famous psychologist by the name Solomon Asch conducted a powerful experiment which was aimed at determining the extent to which pressure from a dominant member of a group affected the decisions made by other participants. This piece of writing is therefore an attempt to criticize Asch's 1951 experiment on group…...
ConformityDecision MakingPhilosophyPsychology
Conformity in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
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It has been said that as long as the human species is in a living state conformity will be a piece of how human culture capacities and part of keeps an eye on characteristic inclinations. The more individuals as of now concur upon or share a specific thought, the more effectively a newcomer will thus be changed over to that thought, and the more troublesome it will be for one officially changed over to dismiss that thought. In this manner,…...
ConformityExtremely Loud And Incredibly CloseShirley JacksonThe Lottery
Pain or Happiness
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Why must we feel as we must fit in? Why do we participate in something that we know is wrong but feel as it's right? Humans follow social norms and family norms that control us and may change our personality. A lot of humans tend to feel as they are outsiders or don't belong to the society, so they act on their behaviors. We think as this is right when it is initially wrong since our brain works like this.…...
Prior to working on this project I was never really given a
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Prior to working on this project, I was never really given a platform to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses, nor have I been tasked to reflect on my group's teamwork and collaboration before. Hence, I am grateful for this chance to share my individual and group reflection. In this reflection, I will share how my strengths and weaknesses affected the group's teamwork with the aid of social psychology theories and concepts. To start off, I will be identifying my…...
How Do the Plays Criticise Established Institutions?
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The ideas of marriage and social class are both key themes in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' by Edward Albee and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' by Tennessee Williams. The plays are used to criticise these institutions with characters such as Stella and Stanley (Streetcar) showing the darker side of marriage with domestic abuse via physical and emotional means as well as Martha and George (Virginia Wolf) showing how Martha feels she has 'married down' in class as George was an…...
A Streetcar Named DesireConformityPlays
How Does Conformity Influence Behavior?
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It has been said that as long as the human species is in a living state similarity will be a bit of how human culture limits and part of watches out for trademark tendencies. The more people starting at now agree upon or share an explicit idea, the more successfully a newcomer will in this way be changed over to that idea, and the more troublesome it will be for one formally changed over to reject that idea. As such,…...
The Importance of Conformity and Obedience in Every Public Service
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Why Conformity and Obedience are important to the Public ServicesConformity and Obedience form the basis of every Public Service. Without them the internal discipline and hierarchal system wouldn’t be able to work effectively. These Public Services require their Officers to conform to the role that is expected and to follow orders irrespective of whether they believe them to be right or if they have a better suggestion. But it should be said that there are limitations to the effectiveness of…...
ConformityConformity And ObedienceObedienceService
Pride in Conformity and Distrust in Literature
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Find a sentence which illustrates the following idea/attitude:pride in conformity and distrust of those who are different The Radleys kept to themselves and kept their shutters and doors closed on Sundays. 1. Chapter one introduces readers to the town of Maycomb, its appearance, its inhabitants, and the particular attitudes of many of its people. Find a sentence which illustrates the following idea/attitude:awareness of difference in social classes The Cunninghams from Old Sarum were the nearest thing to a gang in…...
Asch Conformity Experment
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The Asch Paradigm Majority Influence Introduction In this essay i will discuss the experiment that Solomon Asch’s conducted in (1950) were his main was aim was to discover how majority influence can affect one individual judgment and how pressure from the majority can pressurise one person to Conform, I will also evaluate his research method, the results and the findings he attained. Aim S Solomon Asch’s had disapproved of the Conformity experiment conducted by Muzzafer Sherriff as Asch had felt…...
Conformity in Psychology
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Introduction Imagine yourself in the following situation: You sign up for a psychology experiment, and on a specified date you and seven others whom you think are also subjects arrive and are seated at a table in a small room. You don't know it at the time, but the others are actually associates of the experimenter, and their behaviour has been carefully scripted. You're the only real subject. The experimenter arrives and tells you that the study in which you…...
Advantages and Disadvantages of Conformity
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The New Zealand Oxford dictionary defines conformity as accordance with established practise and agreement suitability. Conformity comes with many advantages and disadvantages. Conformity exists so people don’t feel left out. It also comes with many dangers such as losing your logic and forgetting whether what you’re doing is good or bad. An advantage of conformity is feeling that you’re not alone. You feel accepted and a part of a group where will nobody will judge you. An example of this…...
ConformityNazi GermanySociety
Jane Loevinger and Her Theory of Ego Development
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Human development is a fascinating subject. Psychologists have long studied the recurrent patterns of how humans develop physically, emotionally, and psychologically. If psychologists can find patters, then they can begin to predict behavior and understand how and why people behave the way they do. Many theories have been put forth to try to explain some of the consistencies people go through as they develop. Jane Loevinger is one of those developmental theorists. Her theory of ego development has been a…...
Conformity and Obedience
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Compliance means doing what other people in our social standing do in our daily lives. Most people, in most social groups, conform in everyday things like speech, dress codes, eating habits etc. This kind of conformity is known as ‘’Social control’’- the numerous pressure as individuals grow turns them from babies into members of our society. The main agencies of social control are the family, the peer group, the media, religion, employment and the law. All of these encourage conformity…...
ConformityConformity And ObedienceObedienceSocial Norms
Superstitions And Its Consequences in The Chrysalids
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Plants are burned, animals are butchered, and human variances are banished to the Fringes where they run out sight, can not recreate, and will either pass away or live a miserable life. The primary factor that the citizens of Waknuk desire such sameness and conformity is since of their superstitious and spiritual beleifs. They think that God sent adversities to "The Old Individuals", and that was why their society was ruined. Since they do not desire the very same thing…...
ConformityGodPrejudiceSuperstitions And Its ConsequencesThe Chrysalids
Prejudice, comformity and stereotyping in American History
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American History X is a great film that portrays prejudice, stereotyping and conformity. Prejudice is negative attitudes toward others based on their gender, religion, race, or membership in a particular group. Prejudice involves beliefs and emotions that can turn into hatred. Having an opinion or idea about a member of a group without really knowing that individual is a part of prejudice. Some people make judgments about a whole group of people without knowing very much about them. Sometimes people…...
Conformity Is A Major Theme in Fight Club
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Conformity is a major theme in Fight Club, and there are a number of specific scenes that display the rejection of it and characters falling victim to it, sometimes unbeknownst to them. The Narrator, our main character, is a complex individual. He fits into almost every textbook example of social psychology. He is a complete nutcase. In fact, he is so incredibly insane, that he creates an imaginary friend with whom he transforms himself into a different person, free from…...
ConformityFight Club
Conformity Vs individuality
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Though many struggle to be there own person. Many struggle to decide things on there own.We are all different, but most of us are the same, because of conformity. Conformity is the easy way of things. Following the leader is the natural way of humans. For an example take Germany during World War II. There was little hate towards Jew or Jipsys or the mentally disabled but because one man was such a persuasive and strong leader a whole country…...
Conformity Vs. Nonconformity
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Nonconformity is a force from one's personal self to step outside of the norm and bring a sense of individuality to a world in which there is very little originality anymore. As a society, we are ruled by the media. They force their points of views down everyones throats without one’s consciousness even acknowledging so. We walk past billboards, view commercials, peek around all of our social media websites, and all the while our minds are being bred to be…...
Conformity in “Fight Club”
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The film fight club has the theme of conformity and can be seen in many parts of the film. The film starts with the narrator's insomnia then he starts to give details about his daily life. He is a recall specialist in a big automotive company and works 9:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. and wears suit and tie every day. He has a small condo with full of popular Ikea furniture and other modern appliances like home exercise bike and…...
ConformityFight Club
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Conformity in Daily Life

Whether a conscious decision or not, individuals regularly conform to these conventions in daily life. These daily conformities mold what is a common, yet remains a vital component of functionalism, conflict theory, interactionism, and social exchange. Functionalism is the theory that all aspects of a society serve a function and are necessary for the survival of that society. Educational organizations, specialized trades, government departments, and even homeowners associations are just a handful of countless institutions that form societies. Each institution has different specialties and responsibilities that provide an important function towards the overall clockwork of society. Similarly to the balance found in natural symbiosis or food chains, the removal or overpowering of one component would have far reaching effects across all institutions.

According to functionalist theory, the importance of conformity is exemplified by the value of its opposite- deviance. EmileDurkheim, the architect of modern sociology, viewed deviance as having 3 very important roles:

  1. “it clarifies norms and increases conformity”
  2. “it strengthens social bonds among people reacting to the deviants”
  3. “it can help lead to positive social change” (M Libraries 2018).

Although the positives of deviation seem to contradict the value of conformity, they actually just the means to provide a new and better conformity. In other words, the end goal of deviation isn’t continual change, but rather seeking out something better for society to conform to. An example of this is the retailer Walmart. When Walmart came onto the retail prominence, the market was saturated by smaller retailers that had established a market of higher prices. Walmart was considered a market deviant as it offered comparatively lowed prices than its competition. Although many businesses couldn’t compete and went under, the other only survived through similarly matching the reduced prices on goods. The result of this, Walmart contributed to 12% of the United States’ economic productivity gains in the 1990s (Semmens 2005). This deviation has led to a more an economically beneficial norm of lower prices for consumers.

Conformity in Business

Now, businesses that don’t conform to the new lower priced market on common goods, can no longer compete. Although conformity is often viewed with negative connotations and rebellion viewed with positive connotations, in reality rebellion and deviance are just a means to achieve something better to conform to or as a reinforcement of the value of current conformities. Conflict Theory is the belief that, because of limited resources, people belonging to differing hierarchal classes within a society are in an endless competition over power and position. Marx ‘s primary example of this was the factory. Moving down the hierarchal ladder, at the top is the owner of the factory. The owner of the factory and his family retain the majority of the wealth and resources produced from the factory despite being the smallest and having the lightest labor.

Further down the ladder is the manager of the factory. The manager is a middle class that below the owner but above the ground labor. A managerial position is attainable by the lower labor, but positions are limited and, like the owner, tend to favor incumbents and nepotism. The lowest level belongs to the largest group of the work force- the ground labor. This work force supplies the majority of the work necessary for the functioning of the factory yet receives the least power and wealth. Conflict theory holds that these, as well as many other classes in between, are in constant conflict over who deserves the wealth. The lower classes hold the majority of citizens and therefore, through revolutions, seek to lessen the disparity between themselves and the upper class. Generally, this entails each class making consolidations to increase their stature which is usually how new classes are formed. According to conflict theory, conformity is the backbone that holds society together despite being in a constant struggle.

Wealth and power are perhaps the two of the most desired attributes of all mankind, yet so few have obtained it. In almost every society the vast majority of its citizens belong to the middle to lower classes. Despite greatly outnumbering those in power, class revolutions take many years to become realized or are often not established at all. Although this is seemingly unproductive, it is actually better for the society as a whole. Societies flourish the most at times of the highest conformity and peace. A perfect example of this is post war America in the 1950’s. From 1940 to 1950, the U.S. economy jumped from 200,000 million to 300,000 million in just 10 years this coincided with what is considered the U.S.’s greatest time of conformity (Welling 2018). On the contrary, throughout history some of the greatest empires were weakened to their fall from dissent and revolutions. This is all due in large part to Marx’s key point that there is a limited amount of resources.

With limited resources, it is impossible for an entire society to belong to the upper nor middle class. Ironically though, as societies conform and flourish they begin to increase their resource input and therefore increase the amount of people able to move up in the hierarchy as proven again by 1950’s America (Welling 2018). Symbolic Interactionism is the perspective that through social communication and personal experiences, individuals create a perspective of the world around themselves by means of symbols. There are three main aspects to social interactionism: 1. Individuals confront situations and objects on the basis of previous experiences they’ve had with the situation or object 2. The way individuals view object and situations are greatly influenced by social interactions and the views of others 3. These views and symbols can evolve and change as more and more experience with them is faced. At its roots, symbolic interactionism is the view that perception is dependent upon experience and social interactions rather than invariable facts.

Conformity is the means by which individuals can most efficiently create symbolic meanings for the world around them. In this world there are experiences, situations, and objects without number. For the average individuals though, their confrontations with these countless things are very limited. A person living in the western hemisphere has probably never come face to face with an uncaged lion. A native to the Caribbean who hasn’t left the islands probably has never experienced snow. People living in impoverished nations haven’t ever experienced the sensation of amusement parks. An individual’s lack of experiences creates reliance upon the experiences of others to formulate a symbolic meaning to these various events. In modern day society the prominence of social media, film, and the internet have allowed people to formulate more and more perceptions than ever before. The majority of these representations are based upon the opinions of the masses. This creates a massive practice of conformity that extends beyond even one society.

An example would be a child in Brazil views an American tv show where the children in the show are disgusted by Broccoli. Having never eaten broccoli before, the child begins to view broccoli as a symbol of gross food whose consumption is more punishment than reward. Later in life, upon first tasting Broccoli the child believes it to be disgusting not because of a physiological disposition, but because he has trained himself to associate broccoli with a bad taste in an act of conformity. Conformity is a common and essential part to the harmony of almost very sociological perspective. It is ingrained in mankind extending beyond a learned behavior and found more within human’s very innate nature. In reviewing these perspectives, it is evident that these theories exist due in large part to several natural psychological tendencies of humans. It seems as well that human’s desire to conform is one of these key components that have created what we see in societies throughout history and modern day.

Works Cited

  1. Anonymous. (2018). Explaining Deviance | Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World. (2018). Retrieved from explaining-deviance/
  2. conformity | Definition of conformity in English by Oxford Dictionaries. (2018). Retrieved from
  3. Semmens, J. (2005). Wal-Mart Is Good for the Economy. Retrieved from
  4. Welling, G. (2018). The Postwar Economy: 1945-1960 < Postwar America < History 1994 < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond. Retrieved from economy-1945-1960.php

FAQ about Conformity

What is Conformity?
...The negative association observed in studies using an Asch model for private responses was not expected and must be treated with caution given the small number of such studies. Another possibility is the anticipation of skepticism, and this is a vari...
Why Do Individuals Conform: Conformity In Children?
...In conclusion, there is a great range of reasons for why individuals conform and in particular when referring to children the conformity level seems to be higher. This makes sense as children have less life experience and therefore can be more gullib...
How Peer Pressure Affects On Person?
...Finally, there are ethical issues: participants were not protected from psychological stress which may occur if they disagreed with the majority. Evidence that participants in Asch-type situations are highly emotional was obtained by Back (196...
How Do the Plays Criticise Established Institutions?
...In conclusion, both dramatists have written plays with marriage and social class being key themes through their respective stories. Both themes are heavily criticised throughout the plays which can be a direct effect of who the dramatists were in the...
How Does Conformity Influence Behavior?
...A couple of individuals may fight that closeness and passive consent is simply for the most part things work best in people in general eye. Considering, Some people may battle that closeness and passive consent is simply nearly things work best in th...

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