February 18, 2013
Social Influences on Behavior
Sociology and social psychology travel along similar paths. Entering a new situation for the first time may be made easier by conformity. Getting together with a specific group can alter the individual’s regular behavior. Tying the identity to a group is social identity theory. Humans are pack animals that crave social interaction, and to deny this (as some cultures have tried to do) is a wasted effort
Sociology (the study of human groups and social behaviors) is very broad (Schaefer, 2011). In essence sociology walks hand in hand with social psychology. Many of the principals are similar if not identical. Stratification and socioeconomic class only have meaning in sociology because of social psychology with in the individual (Schaefer, 2011). Conformity is motivated by the group that surrounds an individual (Kowalski & Westen, 2011).Some may engage in a social strategy of blaming-the-victim to justify an action or inaction (Schaefer, 2011). Conformity can backfire if out-group-vises are imposed upon a person seeking to fit in (Schaefer, 2011).This tends to happen on bigoted lines of race or religion. Assuming that it is a diverse environment then a new person will seek a model to follow or a group to join.
A young man starts a new occupation. He is in his mid twenties and knows nobody at this new location. It is his first day of work. The young man may get introduced to someone by his supervisor (in the hope that he will model himself after this mentor) but if not the established employees will inspect and watch from a distance until one recognizes a commonality. The approach will be casual. Assuming all goes well the new guy will assimilate into his mentors group. While assessing his new group the young man will lay low before making any attempt to unseat the hierarchy. Once his niche has been established he...