Being as obedient as a dog

Following the leader

I think therefore I am

Although Descartes was referencing his own existence when he spoke this, this can be applied to the thought of conformity as well. We all think, we all exist, we are all individuals. Our thoughts are our own and they are unlike everyone else's. We are all unique, with unique ideas, beliefs, and personality and there is no one else like this. However, some people's thoughts, beliefs, and ideals are stronger and more powerful than our own; their voice is the louder. It is due to reasons such as this that we conform to their standards and their owns even if they do not align with ours. Even though we are adjusting our lives to fit the societal norms, we are doing this voluntarily and of our own free will and cognition. This is what it means to conform, when we let other people's voices be louder than our own.

My Musings

Conformity is inevitable. No matter where you go, there are leaders and there are followers. Aside from the obvious boss, principal, or cheerleading captain, there are leaders even in each smaller group setting; someone that you look up to or admire or are scared to go against. Conformity is a way of fitting in, everyone has a need to feel like they belong somewhere. Aside from belonging, I also think that people conform because it's easy to give in to other people, to not have a voice, and to let other people do things for them. When people don't conform they risk the chance of being ostracized. While in some instances it is necessary to conform, i.e., work and school, I think that we become so used to having society's influence on us that we allow it in more areas of our lives than we should.

Ultimately everyone wants to fit in somewhere. Although everyone at some point in their life conforms, I think when we do we run the risk of losing ourselves just so we can fit in.

My Daily Life

I moved from California to Michigan last because this is where my fiancé is from. I became a teacher while I was in California and when I moved to Michigan I got a job teaching as well. My first day on the job was a welcome breakfast for all of the new teachers and I showed up in heels, a nice blouse, and jeans. When I arrived I quickly noticed that I was the only in jeans and I felt a little self conscious about it but didn't think much of it. Later that day I received an email (not directly to me but rather it was a District All email) reminding us that jeans were only allowed to warn on Casual for a Cause days.

Up until that email I had no idea that jeans were not appropriate attire. I had been living in Michigan for about two weeks and had yet to even receive an employee handbook. I talked to my sister, who is an academic advisor at a top university in California, and she said, "Wow, if they ever visited California they would be shocked by how many CEOs dress in jeans." California is such a more laid back state and until that day I never considered jeans inappropriate work attire. My sister wears jeans to work at least three days a week. As long as I am not dressed like a bum, I feel that my attitude and demeanor speak more highly about my professionalism than my clothing, especially considering the age group I work with.

Since I enjoy my job and don't want to lose it, I conformed to their standards because this is how they choose to view professionalism. I have been working at this place for two years and my opinion on the matter still has not changed, but this is very much an instance where my voice is not as loud as theirs.

Mean Girls (1/10) Movie CLIP - Meeting the Plastics (2004) HD
Mean Girls is a classic example of social influence and conformity. The protagonist, Cady Heron, just moved to the US from Africa and is attending a school for the first time after being home schooled her entire life. This plot follows Cady and shows how she changes. The effects from the social influence of the popular girls made her conform to their ways and she eventually loses herself and her way.

Break away from the crowd and let your voice be heard!

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Emotions, motivations, social psychology: Smore submission

Melissa Gier

Professor Malgorzata Ilkowska

Psychology 111

March 21, 2016