Challenge and Change in Society HSB4M ALIENATION AND CONFORMITY ‘The Power of Conformity’ An example of people’s overwhelming needs to conform to a social paradigm What is conformity? Discussion Questions: Video What are the triggers to conform in this video? What feelings did the person in the experiment feel to make them change their behaviour? Vote: What would you have done in this same situation? Discussion Questions: Society In today’s society – are there pressures to conform? In what ways? What are the repercussions to not “conforming”? After looking at this clip, think about how people in society would act, what would happen if everybody acted the same? How different would life be? Alienation Refers to an individual separation from a community or group of people in general This is also known as an anomie Refers to a personal condition resulting in a lack of norms i.e. A totalitarian society would produce an anomic individual such as Hitler Isolation Known as a state of seclusion i.e. a lack of contact with people May stem from: Bad relationships Deliberate choice Contagious disease Repulsive personal habits Mental illness Isolation in society Feeling marginalized in society could force people to resist the social norm Unrest in society could lead to isolation, not feeling included in society Conformity Process whereby an individual’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviours are influenced by other people Could be the result of social pressure People often conform to achieve a sense of security in a group of people – a feeling that makes one ‘belong’ Pressures to Conform An unwillingness to conform could risk social rejection An individual who is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction is a victim of social rejection. Conformity acts as a scapegoat in order to avoid bullying and criticism from peers. Key Questions for Today What groups in society may feel socially isolated? Why is this? What groups in society are forced to conform? Conformity in Contemporary Society Most people conform to the standard values and norms without even realizing they are doing so Some degree of conformity is necessary for societies to function i.e. Stopping at a red light means that you are conforming to the law and the good and safety of society Conformity and Youth • Pre-teens and teenagers face many issues related to conformity • Pulled between the desire to be seen as unique individuals and desire to belong to a group where they feel accepted • i.e. wearing the latest fashion, cutting your hair into a certain style, smoking, changing the type of music you listen to • All of these are examples of conforming to a social norm Scenarios • Discuss the following questions with your group: • A) What are the triggers to conform in this scenario? • B) What feelings did the person in the situation feel to potentially make them change their behaviour? • C) What would you have done in this situation? Discussion Which situation would be the most easy and most difficult in terms of resisting conformity? Why?