The Pressure to Conform in Our Society
When I think of how I have been pressured to conform throughout my life the first thing that comes to mind is peer pressure. I have known peer pressure, but, upon further reflection, I realize that for many years, I was fairly sheltered from negative peer pressure. There have been two groups that have consistently put more pressure on me to conform than my peers ever did. I have had more pressure to conform though out my life from my family and school administrators in various ways and for various reasons than from my friends or peers.
The main group that put pressure on me to conform while I was growing up was my family, especially my parents. Most people would call it parental rules, but it really is directives from them to their children to conform to what the parents decide. My parents enforced their rules to conform to their desired behaviors by a punishment and reward system. Even as a young child, my parents wanted me to conform to their ideas of how I should act or not act. They would promise my siblings and me a reward if we behaved or conformed in the way we knew they wanted. For example, we would get Dairy Queen ice cream on the way home from an event if we had behaved or conformed to their standards at the event. Most of time, it was an all-children or no-children reward, but there were times when some of us got ice cream and others did not. In that case, when others got the reward and I did not, it was punishment for not conforming and to make me conform the next time there was a similar situation. In a situation where all the children or none of the children get the reward, it put some of the children in the role of pressuring the others to conform or behave as the parents willed so all could get the reward. The adults at my school are a close second behind my family on the list of groups that pressured me to conform when I was growing up.
Because I went to a church-school, I think my...
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