Conformity Is A Compliant Behaviour That Fits Within A Social Acceptance

Conformity Is A Compliant Behaviour That Fits Within A Social Acceptance

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By definition, ‘conformity’ is a compliant behaviour that fits within a social acceptance and Throughout decades this has changed and developed relative to the pop culture and traditions of the time. Most people conform to a standard set of values, also recognised as group norms, and this is generally done without effort and without being aware. In majority of studies, researchers found the subconscious (and sometimes conscious) fear of being the outcast or appearing unworldly is enough for a person to change the behaviours to fit in. Historically, this is particularly evident with events such as the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the Holocaust, where world considered it unbelievable that so many people could see what was happening and not recognise the immorality of it. This concept of ignorance is addressed in Morton Rhue’s fictitiously rewritten story in The Wave. Based on an experiment conducted in a History class, that teacher Ron Jones took too far, the book is an insightful development to the workings of sociology. It demonstrates how a persons beliefs can be instilled into another and the change of the perception of general good within a community.

The experiment itself saw previously mentioned teacher, Ron Jones, demonstrate how today’s democratic societies are not as impoverish to fascism as originally perceived. With the introduction of strict disciplines, “The Wave” became somewhat prestigious and members soon had their own uniform, insignia, salute and banners. In only nine days, the movement grew from a small history class too a mass of two hundred followers, and school democracy was successfully eliminated. Like with any successful conformity experiment, the process did not happen straight away, and it was the cour...


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...s that only shared concerns relative to those people. Once the movement took control, each group regardless of what they had done before fit within the realms of The Wave. Considering this it is clear to see the dynamics of conformity within a school environment and how this applies to the world, and back to Jones’ preliminary point on a fascist Germany.

The Wave should be left as a cautionary tale, and an obvious demonstration behind the power of socialisation. At it’s peak with more than two hundred members, it was an escape for the usual outcasts, and let many people develop a new identity. Through conformity and deviance, the experiment defined the workings of Sociology and emphasised conformity in terms of the greater good. It’s correlation within the lives of many today is evidently strong, especially in terms of peer group pressure in a school community.


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