Young people of my country conform and deviate, but in varying degrees. This is expressed by Suematsu in paragraph 3 of passage B where he states “Conform too much, and you are toast, deviate too much, and you are toast too.” in context to the school life. It is the same with Singapore. Young people of my country must find the perfect balance of conforming and deviating in order to be “popular”. And that answers the question as to why they conform and deviate.
Even within Singapore, different young people may conform and deviate in different ways and in variable degrees. For example, students in a secondary school may find that breaking the rules, “deviating” in other words, is considered cool but students from a junior college may find conforming more to their style. This is probably due to the mental maturity of the different age groups. In secondary school, students are still young and may not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions or maybe even be given rose coloured glasses by their peer (peer pressure), whereas in JC, the students have matured greatly from their secondary school days and understand the consequences they have to face in breaking a rule.
However, we also have to consider what kind of circles the young people come from. Some young people may come from more shady backgrounds, and they may break more rules (of both society and school) than normal, but to them, or perhaps, to their social circle, it may be a form of conforming. It isn’t their fault as they have been brought up or have been exposed to such an environment at a early age. To them, it is the norm. they do not know how else to act except to deviate. Even within that circle, there may be some limits to the kind of rules or how many you can break. This is also illustrated by Suematsu who states “We all conform to some standard one way or another...this collective standard can vary even within a society.” It is also seen in the undercurrents of Heath and Potter’s work...
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