Obedience and Social Pressure

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Most of our lives are spent pleasing people, whether they are our parents when we are young, our teachers when we go to school, our friends and peers in everyday life, or our bosses when we go to work. We grow up at home being told what to do by our parents and that we have to listen to adults. In school we are told to listen to our teachers and do what they tell us. When we have a job we’re told to listen to our boss and do our jobs the way they tell us. We do what our friends ask us to because it makes them happy and makes us feel as though we belong. Everywhere we go in life we are told to listen to someone else, someone who knows more than we do. This is why the pressures to obey can be so strong despite the lack of morality behind an order, because we are taught throughout our lives to obey others, to please others and in doing so become apart of the different groups within our lives. The main idea that our reasons for obedience revolve around is our want to be part of a group. In Doris Lessing’s “Groups Minds” she states, “The fact is that we live our lives in groups” (Lessing 652). Throughout her article, she speaks of how people, particularly Americans, like to believe they are to be individuals but that humans are really group animals. This lends itself to the idea that, despite believing ourselves to be individuals, we will do anything to be in a group because when we are in a group, we tend to think as a group does (Lessing 652). In essence, because we want to become part of a group, become part of something that is bigger than ourselves alone, we sometimes let go of the things we believe to be right in order to feel accepted. We obey morally or legally wrong orders because if we don’t we may feel rejected and that ... ... middle of paper ... ...s, shaping who we are and who we become. We do things even if we don’t want to because we are told by someone with power over us or from people we want to be friends with. What people need to take from this essay, is that we need to understand when to obey and order, and when to think about what is being asked of us before doing it. Works Cited Asch, Solomon E. "Opinions and Social Pressure." Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. By Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 655-59. Print. Lessing, Doris. "Group Minds." Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. By Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 652-54. Print. Milgram, Stanley. "Perils of Obedience." Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. By Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 630-43. Print.

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