This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Conformity Vs. Individualism Essay

2744 words - 11 pages

We’ve all know what it feels like: walking down the halls in middle school or high school while you feel like you’re being watched…analyzed…critiqued. It would almost seem like every person you passed would be silently judging you for what you’re wearing, how you applied your makeup, how you did in the last soccer game, or what they heard you did with Jonny. The passerby’s in the hallway would place you on the high-school-hierarchy-of-coolness scale based on superficial characteristics even before getting to know you. Adolescence is a time of learning and forming an identity but it’s also a time where you are constantly being watched and evaluated by your peers, sometimes even put down by physical or verbal means. Bullying has always been a problem in school settings but was never really recognized for its malignant effects until recently. Due to the push of bullying awareness in the past fifteen years and the influences of pop culture, there has been a noticeable shift in our culture’s definition of “cool”.

The word “cool” takes on many meanings. It’s used to describe temperature and also a “calmness, composure, and poise”. ( But it has also taken on another definition over the years to express “approval, acceptance, and admiration”. We describe things to be “cool” every day without even realizing it. We use it to describe new music that we found and want our friends to like saying, “I just found this new artist and she’s so cool you have to listen to her!” Something “cool” is something well received by the general public. Something that is accepted by the majority. Conforming to social norms is a part of a being human and we rarely even notice that we’re doing it. We conform when we stop at a red light because it’s a law and when we purchase items with money instead of trading. We don’t mean to just follow what everyone else is doing because we’re afraid to do our own thing, but we have an understanding that certain concepts are needed to conform to in order to keep everyone in society on the same level playing field. But conforming to what the majority is doing because it is deemed as cool is a whole different story. Instead of conforming to keep society running smoothly, we sometimes conform due to fear that we will receive hateful backlash for breaking against the norm or in fear that we will be wrong. Solomon Asch explains the latter reason when he conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. In his experiment, there was only one true participant and 4 other fake participants that will help prove his point correct. Cards were shown to everyone where there were lines of different length illustrated. They all had to choose which line was the longest. The first four people at the table were the fake participants and purposely chose the wrong answers. The last person was the true participant in the experiment and in all of the experiments...

Find Another Essay On Conformity vs. Individualism

The Ups and Downs of Conformity

1538 words - 6 pages The question of individualism vs. conformity comes to mind when dealing with the human psyche. Some people value being independent and self-sufficient, while some like to keep themselves in the confines of conformity. The American society tends to lean towards the conformist point of view and it is mostly due to the effects of media. Americans crave the idea of association and strive to become the individuals that the media deems worthy

Tim Burton: A Man of Many Visions

764 words - 4 pages Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland. In these recognizable blockbusters, like most of Burton’s movies, the use of satire and visual features are present to support the thematic concept of conformity vs. individuality. In Edward Scissorhands, satire can noticeably be related to conformity vs. individuality. The neighborhood is filled with matching homes, each accommodating a stereotypical person. Seen throughout the movie, varieties of these

Tim Burton: A Man of Many Visions

724 words - 3 pages castle, who’s interior, exterior, and surroundings are a bright and beautiful white. This also represents the individualism that the Queen possesses at the time, ruling only those who are against her sister. These designs easily define what is unique and what is regular within Wonderland. In conclusion, Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland both back conformity vs. individuality with the use of visual features and satire. These two movies of


783 words - 3 pages /femininityMasculine tough values: success, money, assertiveness, competitionFeminine tender values: personal relationships, care for others, quality of life, serviceSchwartz's Value SurveyEmbeddedness vs. autonomyEmbedded: meaning comes from relationships, group identification, participation ( social order, security, wisdom, tradition)Autonomy: autonomy, individualism (intellectual - curiosity & open-mindedness & affective [FRANCE

Psychological Overview of the Japanese Culture

1447 words - 6 pages using this measures to collect data about collectivism vs individualism from diverse cultures, and during his seminal imperial study his research reported that the United States scored a 91 (ranked fist out of 39 countries ) on his individualism index. While Japan received a lower score of 46 (rated 22nd)”. His research collected during his study help support the theory that Japanese are more collectivistic than are Americans, and most the other

Exploring One’s Responsibility to Oneself

2067 words - 9 pages man’s obligations to society but instead because it was the necessary decision so that American citizens could enjoy their individual lives with freedom from the monarchy. Craig Biddle argued in his piece “Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice” that “Individualism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs to him and that he has an inalienable right to live it as he sees fit, to act on his own judgment, to keep and use the


860 words - 4 pages in one’s mind of the setting, he makes one imagine the reality that he writes about in the poem. As previously mentioned, Lowell participated in a group called the Fireside poets. This group goes along with the themes of the movie, Dead Poet’s Society; the movie conveys the themes of seize the day, or Carpe Diem, and conformity vs. nonconformity, or, basically individualism. The Fireside poets advocated the latter theme of conformity vs

The Individual vs. Big Brother in 1984

1615 words - 6 pages ’ actions. The true culmination of the battle between conformity vs. individualism occurs when Winston is captured by the Thought Police. This happened at the hands of O’Brien, whom Winston believed was a member of a secret underground society with the task of overthrowing the Party. For a while, he was led by O’Brien with that premise, but in fact he himself was a member of the Thought Police. Thus, Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love, the

The Individual versus Society in the Scarlet Letter

1014 words - 4 pages The Individual vs. Society in the Scarlet Letter The society we live in today grants us a variety of freedoms. No one tells us how to think or what to believe in. We decide what clothes to wear, what to do on Sundays and our religion – with no law to persuade us. These permissive decisions would not be looked highly upon in stern Puritan Society. There is no sense of individualism in 1600s Salem because laws envelop every bit of human society

Ken Elton Kesey and His Works

1351 words - 6 pages were both used while Kesey developed parts of this novel (Goodwin). The novel discusses the social conflict of modern industry vs. individualism (The Oregon Historical Society). Upon its release, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was an immediate hit (Railton). The title of the book was from a nursery rhyme that Chief Bromden’s grandmother sang to him when he was a child, “Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn, apple seed, and apple thorn, wire, briar

Huckleberry Finn - Huck Verses Society

1367 words - 5 pages opposite of Huckleberry Finn. Throughout Huckleberry Finn, Huck is pitted against society's influence in his encounters with the strange, stereotypical people he meets along the Mississippi River. These people reflect many common social values, such as conformity, racism, and negligence of nightmares and frightening images; Huck, however, uses his individualism to avoid the cloud of society, relying on his instincts to guide him through life and

Similar Essays

Individualism Vs. Conformity Essay

1129 words - 5 pages war. All would be well. But if they chose to be cowards he would go out and avenge himself.” (Achebe, 2772) were the greatest examples of Okonkwo’s resistance to conformity. These choices were based on his personal ideals and reflected his individualism in taking his fate into his own hands. On the other hand, the Tempest ends on a much lighter tone and with a completely different type of ending. Everyone is happy and is ready to start their new

Perceptions Causing Individualism & Conformity Essay

1637 words - 7 pages Individualism can be something so rare or so common depending on what environment you are in. When an individual is forced to think or act a certain way, they have no other choice but to accept the reality of what they are dealing with. Accepting anything you are put through especially situations a government imposes is the basis of conformity. There is a tendency to want to fit in with the majority of society rather than having your own

Retaining Essentialism In A World Of Cogs: The Individualism Versus Societal Conformity

2179 words - 9 pages Throughout Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, the contrast of individualism to the blind conformity of society is shown repeatedly. The constant battle between the day-to-day life of conforming citizens in The World State and the main character Bernard Marx’s realization of isolation demonstrates the separation an individual feels from the rest of society. The sense of consciousness or individualism that Bernard Marx begins to feel is

How Does The Director, Pete Weir, Shape Our Response To The Issue Of Conformity Versus Individualism In The Film Dead Poets Society?

829 words - 3 pages 370791XStage 1: EnglishHow does the director, Pete Weir, shape our response to the issue of conformity versus individualism in the film Dead Poets Society? Respond to the question in an essay.In the film Dead Poets Society there are two main issues that are focused upon. These two issues include the battle between whether conformity or individualism is right. We are shown the two end results of choosing both of the different approaches with your