Why do people sometimes feel that they need to socially conform to what is going on around them, even if they do not want to?
The presence of others seems to set expectations to behave in certain ways in certain situations, even if they do not want to. Social conformity is a “type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group. This change is in response to real (involving the physical presence of others) or imagined (involving the pressure of social norms / expectations) group pressure” (McLeod, S. (2007). People will tend to agree openly but privately be thinking and knowing it is wrong. People feel they need to socially conform to have a sense of belonging or connectedness, fit in, have a positive social identity, or to simply adapt to their situation and surroundings at the time. I feel it is rare to find those who exude confidence (not to be confused with arrogance), that are comfortable in their own skin, and speak their mind with the facts/truth and break the norms. It might be hard at first to take this approach, but in my experience, those individuals are also the ones that are highly respected. On the other hand, those who go against what society claims is right or wrong may be seen as deviants. Deviance is any behavior, belief, or condition that violates significant social norms in the society or group in which it occurs (Kendall, 2012-01-01, p. 180). Examples are tattoos, Goth, not leaving a tip for the waiter/waitress, pink hair, not believing in God or simply walking down the wrong side of the hallway.
How do the social institutions of our country (e.g., schools, the health care system, the economy, religious organizations) play a role in encouraging social conformity, as well as social deviance?
Social institutions of this country play a role in social conformity as well as social deviance. School is one institution that has a huge influence on our youth. They spend so much of their lives in school that it also contributes to their values, beliefs, and knowledge. As we grow up, we are taught that it is desirable to be rich and successful, as opposed to settled and comfortable. If you dress or look different, you are considered a...