Conformity Essay, Research Paper
In my personal experience I consider myself a Farley normal human being that would generally follow most of the considered ?social norms? in our society. I take a shower every day, I don?t talk to strangers on the elevator, and I like to eat my cereal with milk. Nothing too out of the ordinary as far as being in agreement with society and the environment around me, but the one thing that I have not done by this point in my life that most people my age have is to have the urge to go out and get drunk every weekend, or even drink at all. I do not drink because I have never found it to be beneficial to me in any way. Teenagers drink with groups of peers that get together for the purpose of getting inebriated only, no one else goes out with that group if they are not drinking because it would be in violation of a teenager?s ?social norms?. In our society today although drinking among teenagers is not legal it is pretty universal that teenagers do drink, get drunk and usually end up causing trouble or getting themselves into trouble with their parents or the police, probably both.
Drinking in the eyes of a teenager is considered cool and the only socially acceptable activity that takes place on the weekend. Therefore it is easy to understand the draw of alcohol to teenagers, it is illegal, it?s ?fun?, and it is cool among the popular kids. These are not the reasons anyone should give as examples of why there is a good idea to do an activity. I don?t think that drinking should be as much a priority in my life as other things should be like work, money girls, and staying out of trouble.
Conformity has been presented in various lights in class. In the movie Twelve Angry Men, one juror is able to see the possibility that the accused murderer might not have committed the crime. With his faith in his own views he is able to withstand the criticism and pressure of the eleven other jurors and finally sway the entire jury?s decision to acquittal of the accused. In A Civil Action, Jan Schlictman is the wealthy lawyer on the contaminated water case who wears only ?hand tailored Dimitri suits and silk Hermes ties? (Harr, 1995, 294) and drives an expensive European sports car. Jan conforms to the role of the typical lawyer who is concerned with his self-indulgences just as much as his cases for court.
Conformity does not always have to be considered negative, it can make people feel accepted and can give people a sense of stability and security with the people or surroundings around them. Feeling like a part of something gives people a sense of anonymity and creates a feeling of fellowship among members of a group. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous provide an atmosphere that is designed to alleviate and help cope with an alcoholics desire for booze. The way for some to get over personal problems is to talk about them truthfully with others that have had similar experiences.
The issue of conformity is generally takes place among groups of three or more
People, however conformity is not as prevalent among very large groups where opinions are likely to be varied. However it is not limited to small groups, in Germany circa 1930?s Hitler is a great example of making people conform to his wishes, he was able to control his army make their primary objective to exterminate an entire race of people. All the Nazi soldiers as well as anyone not Jewish were forced to give up free thought and their true feelings in fear of the consequences. If anyone was to disobey Hitler?s orders they were killed also. As long as certain people are able to manipulate others the problem of conformity can create far greater problems than just a change of personal opinions.