Man is a kind of super-dense living atom in the system of social reality. We all are guided and surrounded by several social rules and regulation, which we have to follow to live in society. We follow these rules throughout our life, like behaving well in the class, respecting elders, following norms of the community and many more. When we deviate from these norms that are present within the culture, environment, family or social groups that we belong to, we often feel pressure from others to conform to the beliefs and values that members of the group believe in.
Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group or go along the people around you. It is an essential social mechanism in society, and without it, we would not have social norms and acceptable behavior. It may have positive as well as a negative effect on us.
There are Two types of Conformity- Compliance, and Internalisation.
1. Compliance– It involves changing our behavior while we are still internally disagreeing with the group. It is shallow conformity.
2. Internalization– It involves changing our behavior, also internally as we believe in the viewpoint of the group. It is deep conformity.
Let’s see the relevant examples of conformity in our everyday life.
1. Following Rules
We have to pay a fine, whenever we violate the rules and regulations. For example, Driving at the left side is the rule, which we have to follow by hook or crook, though sometimes, we do not find it relevant. But, we are driving on the left side because the whole society is doing so.
Whenever we meet the person, we usually greet him with the word Hello, or some other addresses. It is the social norm, which we follow because society wants us to follow them. In case we do not greet the person, we are assumed to be mannerless or rude.
We always stand in lines, be at a bus stop or any other place, just because other people are doing so. If somehow we broke the queue due to any reason, we are often offended by the people around and may get punished by the laws.
4. Following Fashion
The human population is a herd. They are following each other since the very start of life. What to wear and how to wear is the primary social norm to be followed in today’s era. We are thoughtlessly following our fashion icons or other people. If any of us try to wear which is odd than what society wears, we are considered to be abnormal.
5. Changing Eating Habits
For instance, we become vegetarian by getting influenced by the other members of our group because we too think that becoming vegan is helpful to the society and we will not cause any harm to the animals around us.
6. Education and Career
Most the students nowadays end up opting for science, though they dont have any interest in that subject. They choose it because of the peer pressure or the parents forcing them to do so, because it is believed that, student having a science stream is more intelligent than the student of the art or any other stream. It is the social norm, that straightway after completing senior secondary education, we have to go to university for higher education like others are doing.
Marriage is one of the major and compulsory conformity of society. If a person at 27 years is married, have children, home and a car is considered as a well organized and settled person in the community.
8. Attending Parties
Whenever you go to a party, you try to imitate other dinners’ behavior the first time you ate at a French restaurant because you didn’t know which cutlery to use for each course.
9. In Class
Majority Wins! is the well-said phrase in every area of life, be the elections or in the class. When we asked for an opinion in the class, we mostly agree with what the majority is saying. Though we might have any other idea, we agree with the majority because we dont want to feel different from other students.
10. Adopting Habits
Adopting habits may be good or bad are also part of the conformity. Youngster mostly gets involved in bad habits like drinking and smoking because their groupmates are doing the same. People join them because no one wants to be the one that is a goody two shoes and doesn’t join in.