We examine why most people tend to conform in most of their social interactions, while others deviate from the existing social norms.
- Why do people sometimes feel that they need to socially conform to what is going on around them, even if they do not want to do so?
- How do the social institutions of our country (e.g., schools, the healthcare system, the economy, religious organizations) play a role in encouraging social conformity, as well as social deviance?
- In reviewing the following video “Solomon Asch’s Conformity Experiment Today” at http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/solomon-aschs-conformity-experiment-today/, describe why the individuals in the Asch experiment usually gave the same answer when they probably knew that it was wrong.
the meaning of the concept of “social conformity” from a sociological perspective.
Sociologists define social conformity as compliance with the social norms of any given social situation. Social norms, in turn, are defined as the set of behavioral expectations held by group members for a specific group. Consequently, social conformity may or may not be beneficial to an individual, but tends to be beneficial to his or her group. Social norms are very powerful in group situations – they are often not verbally discussed, but they are quietly operating through body language and known behavioral expectations.
In general, our social institutions tend to encourage social conformity, since conformity can contribute to the predictability and social stability of their operations and of our culture.
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