Group confomity - Essay Example

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Group Conformity Conformity refers to an act of set beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that adhere and match to societal norms. In this sense, the term norms refer to the implicit and undocumented rules that exist among a certain population or group of individuals…
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Download file to see previous pages An explanation for conformity can be the fact that it provides people with security as being part of a group which can be one of the same age, religion or culture. Sociologists have also characterized this thought pattern as a self deceptive as people often force themselves to confirm to certain cultural beliefs in a group and manufacture consent to a particular set of “unsaid rules” regardless of their actual position on the matter. This paper will analyze the realistic aspects of group conformity and how it helps shape a community. In addition, the paper will also analyze the negative attributes of group conformity. Several sociological experiments have been carried out and these have illustrated that group conformity makes people vulnerable mentally and affects their thought processes especially at a subconscious level. Forysth stated that the nature of individuals that leads them to conformity also subjects them to other pressures that are dependent on different parameters which include private and public agreement (Zollman, 317-340). This phenomena may be further explained when an individual agrees with a certain movement only in public, however, in private largely opposes it and shares an antagonistic opinion. An example of this situation is the public view of homosexuality and whether these individuals should be granted equal rights to marriage and be publicly allowed to express their feelings. The public opinion leans towards equality and people often say they are in support of gay marriage publicly, whilst they criticize it at home or in the company of certain people. The above mentioned situation is an example of either acquiescence or compliance. The opposite situation whereby an individual agrees with a certain aspect both publicly and privately is referred to as private acceptance or conversion. Individuals may also have the same opinion with a group from the beginning and hence do not have to conform to any new opinions and this is referred to as convergence (Zollman, 317-340). As mentioned above, conformity may also inhibit development in society. John Kennedy once stated that “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth” (Zollman, 317-340). A common trait in society is that individuals are often stagnant and do not like to change from their original comfort zones. Therefore, people are likely to remain to a certain state of customs which may slow the progression of the community however; people are swayed towards upholding these norms to adhere to the group mentality. In addition, when an individual succumbs to group thinking he or she ultimately inhibits personal growth as he is forced to base his decision making to preset parameters. Conformity is not just the average middle school boy with a Justin Bieber hair cut and a pair of sun glasses. It can be better explained as listening to several radio stations in order to derive upon certain points to make during a conversation with workmates. Group conformity has been described by several sociologists as a social killer which strangles weak individuals within the community and results in the ultimate loss of an individual’s true self identity. A weak individual is easily succumbed to group ideologies until he or she loses his or her true identity and bases all his decisions on the general trend in society. The ironic aspect of group conformity is that people choose ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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