Conformity vs. Individualism

2747 Words11 Pages
We’ve all know what it feels like: walking down the halls in middle school or high school while you feel like you’re being watched…analyzed…critiqued. It would almost seem like every person you passed would be silently judging you for what you’re wearing, how you applied your makeup, how you did in the last soccer game, or what they heard you did with Jonny. The passerby’s in the hallway would place you on the high-school-hierarchy-of-coolness scale based on superficial characteristics even before getting to know you. Adolescence is a time of learning and forming an identity but it’s also a time where you are constantly being watched and evaluated by your peers, sometimes even put down by physical or verbal means. Bullying has always been a problem in school settings but was never really recognized for its malignant effects until recently. Due to the push of bullying awareness in the past fifteen years and the influences of pop culture, there has been a noticeable shift in our culture’s definition of “cool”. The word “cool” takes on many meanings. It’s used to describe temperature and also a “calmness, composure, and poise”. (Dictionary.com) But it has also taken on another definition over the years to express “approval, acceptance, and admiration”. We describe things to be “cool” every day without even realizing it. We use it to describe new music that we found and want our friends to like saying, “I just found this new artist and she’s so cool you have to listen to her!” Something “cool” is something well received by the general public. Something that is accepted by the majority. Conforming to social norms is a part of a being human and we rarely even notice that we’re doing it. We conform when we stop at a red light becau... ... middle of paper ... ... kept in the dark for too long. Works Cited: Keveney, Bill. "'Glee' raises its voice in song; The hit series sings to anyone who ever felt like an outsider." USA TODAY. (April 9, 2010 Friday ): LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2014/10/23. Lue, Natalie. "Being You Is Better than Changing to Appease Someone Who Is Threatened by Differences." Web log post. Baggage Reclaim. Baggage Reclaim, 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. Martin, Karen. "Embracing Your Inner Hipster." University WireJan 16 2014. ProQuest. Web. 23 Oct. 2014 . McLeod, S. A. (2007). What is Conformity? Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/conformity.html Schiermer, Bjørn. "Late-Modern Hipsters: New Tendencies in Popular Culture." Acta Sociologica 57.2 (2014): 167-81. Watson, Dave. "Here's to the Hipsters." Strategy (2014): 10. ProQuest. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
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