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The Stanford Prison Experiment Choosing To Remain A Prisoner

1015 words - 5 pages

Allowing & Choosing to be a Prisoner
The Stanford Prison Experiment was a great example of how people can become imprisoned by accepting the roles others assigned to them. Also, some of them remained prisoners because they did not want to be scrutinized by the other participants for trying to be different. Furthermore, the experiment demonstrated how people will go along with something even if they don’t want to. As children most of us are raised to respect others and listen to authority figures. It is arguable that because the way we are socialized as children that we are being set up to be imprisoned as adults, ultimately joining the rest of the sheep. Therefore, to some extent we have allowed ourselves to become imprisoned by ourselves and society.
Although we may, to some extent, be imprisoned by accepting the roles in society, it is hard to imagine the world any other way. Our country seems to be one with freedom. It is a place other people from around the world want to live because of our rights, freedoms and opportunities. Also, for the most part, we have access to public health care, education, good jobs and things alike. Our country basically has given us everything we think we need to survive. However, there are sacrifices we tolerate to live in such a country where we have these rights, freedoms and opportunities; those sacrifices maybe imprisonment by accepting the roles.
Additionally, being passive and dependent doesn’t necessarily free us from the need to act and be responsible for our actions. There are policies and laws in place which make us responsible for some of our actions. Even in everyday life we are continuously responsible for our actions. Also, if there are issues that need to be changed people usually come together to make those changes. If the need be, then people will act even though they might be imprisoned by society. Therefore, being imprisoned doesn’t free us from the need to act and be responsible for our actions.
Prison-guard Metaphor
The prisoner-guard metaphor is relevant to the different struggles people face in everyday life. There are the people who are more on the helpless (prisoner) side and experience completely different struggle than someone with power (guard). It doesn’t mean that someone with power does not struggle, they just have different ones. Thus, each individual has their own struggles. Also, it is referring to each person placing limits on their own freedom. It may not just be society as whole, but it is also the individual placing those limits. Even though that individual may see society as a contributing factor to their struggles, the individual still has a choice to change who they are. Therefore, if the individual doesn’t make the choice the change, then they are imprisoning themselves. The prisoner lets others dominate them and control them, while the guard is the one dominating and...

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