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January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Social Psychology
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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: Society  In today’s society – are there pressures to

conform? In what ways?  What are the repercussions to not “conforming”?  How different would life be?

Activity: Small Group Discussion  In small group list all the different ways you  

 

are pressured to conform in society Do you Conform? What happens if you don’t? How much of a role does family, friends and school play in the pressure in your life to conform? Do you notice this pressure on a daily basis? Does society need its citizens to conform to function effectively?

History of Alienation – Max Weber

Max Weber  Famous German sociologist  He was concerned that social values of grace

and compassion would be replaced by cold utilitarian values  According to sociologist Max Weber, people provoke social change when they feel isolated from society.

Karl Marx  Famous German sociologist  Marx believed that alienation refers to the

separation of things that naturally belong together  Putting something in between two things that belong in harmony  Believed that alienation was a systematic result of capitalism

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?

The Asch Experiment  The Asch Experiment by American psychologist Solomon E. Asch  Performed in the 1950’s that demonstrated the

power of conformity in groups  Asch asked groups of students to participate in a “vision test”  All but one of the participants were being experimented  The study was about how the remaining student would react to participant answers

The Asch Experiment

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?

Scenario 1  You are waiting to cross the street

and the light is red. A group of pedestrians start to cross the street before the green light even though there remains some risk of oncoming traffic. What do you do?

Scenario 2

 You are looking for garbage at

a concert. You find one but it is full and you see people just throwing garbage on the ground around the garbage can. What do you do?

Scenario 3 • You have been standing in line for

hours waiting to buy tickets for a concert / sports game. A group of 6 people try to ‘bud’ in line with a friend. The people waiting start yelling and objecting as there are only a specific amount of tickets. What do you do?

Scenario 4  A senior student approaches you

and a bunch of your friends offering to sell you his / her old assignments and copy of tests for a class. All of your friends agree to this and are waiting for your decision. What do you do?

Scenario 5  You have just started a new job

and are sitting around with your new co-workers. Someone tells a joke that is very racist and everyone is laughing and starts telling more racist jokes that you find offensive. What do you do?

Scenario 6  A bunch of you are at a friends for

dinner—after dinner all your friends get up from the table and leave their plates as you are late for a party. You have been brought up to always clear your plate from the table and help clean up. What do you do?

Discussion  Which situation would be the

most easy and most difficult in terms of resisting conformity?  Why?  Task: see website / moodle

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