High School Never Ends
Conformity is a part of life. It is so integrated in a person’s everyday routine that at times, some don’t recognize that they are conforming. In many ways, society has made conforming just as unconscious as blinking. However, many members of society are also unconscious to the result of such decisions. For example, people may conform unconsciously, out of fear, from peer pressure, or to gain a sense of belonging. The political agenda of the Holocaust is a good example of conforming out of fear. The Asch Experiment of 1951, the Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971, and the Milgram Study of 1961 are all prime examples of conforming as a result of peer pressure. An example as popular as the movie, Mean Girls, and the idea of religious conformity, are both unique examples of conforming due to a strong sense of belonging. So with that, people should ask themselves, at what level does conformity escape one’s conscious and enter the unconscious?
Everyone strives to make friends, possibly doing certain actions that will get themselves into the clique they desire. Many experiences come to mind when we begin to think about the concept of fitting in. High school is usually the first place that we consider when we think about where many of us want to fit in. Though high school may be when conformity is most extreme in modern life, it is definitely established much earlier and continues long after we graduate.
Erik Erikson, a psychologist and psychoanalyst is known for his theory of psychosocial development. According to Erickson and his eight psychological stages, conformity is developed in early childhood, between the age of two and three. This stage is about creating a sense of autonomy versus shame and doubt. The book states that, “Feeling of autonomy and competence emerge when children interact effectively with others” (Carver and Scheier 213). They begin to notice a difference, and once they are aware of a difference, they...