Consequences of Conformity

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Ross Carroll
rcarroll@sfu.ca
Experiencing Society (120)
Consequences of Conformity

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” (Jean Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract, 1762). From the moment of birth, man is burdened with an immense social pressure to act within social guidelines that are considered acceptable. Whether they truly are beneficial or not is irrelevant. Influences such as the government, the media, and religion force us not only to abide, but to believe in these guidelines without question. Conformity prevents the growth of creativity which limits personal and societal success. There are consequences within society for those who deviate from the “Social code”. Fear of these consequences is what forces people into following the standards set by the leaders. Selfish control of a conformed population results in terrible and menacing consequences. When one is forced to conceal their individuality to abide a set of rules or norms, they are dulling the characteristics that give them complexity. Creative power has enabled humanity to advance to the state that it is in now. Powerful trains of thought develop within a free mind in a conducive environment. These thoughts become reality through support and encouragement, and eventually form a new aspect of life that will benefit society. Conformity is a sensor that selfishly allows select ideas to be presented. Socrates was man of incredible power and intelligence who possessed the potential to educate his people to a new level of knowledge. However, the Athenian society he lived in had strict morals set by the gods, that everyone was expected to live by. Socrates’ teachings broke these morals, and regardless of the benefits of his efforts, he was prosecutes. The condemnation of Socrates displays how the concealment of expression sets a limit on the spread of knowledge, and success. Socrates is condemned to death for attempting to better his people. Freedom of expression would have enabled him to...
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