1. StrontiumEthics
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    StrontiumEthics New Member

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    Does Society play THAT MUCH of a role in our behavior?Need your feedback people!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by StrontiumEthics, Jul 6, 2008.

    I am the type of person who sits down listen, and observes.As a 15 year old I've been observing that maybe society has been affecting us to a point where we are zombies. I dont know maybe its me. But society tells us what to wear, what to eat, what to know, how to act. For example, Kids are suppost to raise there hands when they want to go to the bathroom at school. At a young age we are told what and what not to do. Like eating with your hands is uncivilized, however in some indian/west indian cultures this is looked upon as normal. Another prime example is the differentiation between blue, and pink. Blue for boys, and pink for girls. Who actually determines these factors. All these little things play important roles on our lives as kids, and adults. My theology is that our life is like a house. The foundation which is basically the support of the house, made up of all the things we learn from youth to the age in which we can make decissions. The upper portion of the house after the foundation is the most heaviest, and basically made up of "Life Experiences". However, all of our life experiences are based on that initial foundation. If a strong foundation is not put in place by parents/gaurdians, the childs foundation will crumble, which in other words fall suspetible to the other power. This is power in most cases include things like peer-pressure, drugs, gangs, prostitution and im sure you can think of more. In essence, a "Lack of individuality". My premise is that society is not encouraging individuality, but rather commonality. I hope to see some people respond to my observation. Im asking you guys to give my point of view some seroius thought and critique. Looking for some feedback from various age group as well. No offence to anyone as well. Thank you.
     
  2. vivo_neco
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    vivo_neco New Member

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    You could probably do a PhD on how society effects people, and I’m hardly an expert on psychology/sociology etc. But I think the society we grow up in has a huge impact on our behaviour. We learn that we either have to at least partly conform to social norms or risk being ostracized, and that, as you say, influences how we live, what we eat, what we wear and how we act. There are some people who really don’t care about what society thinks, but they are in the minority.

    But everyone is not the same - we still all have different personalities, and there are degrees of conformity. I mean, look at us. Look at writers, artists, musicians, etc. As long as we have our imaginations, and we can see that there are flaws in society, we are not all ‘zombies’. The fact we can even talk about this shows us that society is not all-pervasive.

    Society isn’t all bad, either. There are social norms in our culture that most of us accept are right and good (e.g. discouraging violence). I’d say that, when it comes down to it, society is part of the ‘nurture’ in nurture and nature - our parents will usually raise us in conformance with the rules of the society they live in. But we - for better or worse - have free will, and if we can recognise that something society encourages is harmful, then we should be smart enough not to follow it.

    I think you have a point when you say that society encourages us to be, as it were, sheep, blindly following the rest, and it can be difficult to resist the urge, since we risk being shunned if we do not. But, as I said before, one thing society does not do is force you. You have to face the consequences of your actions if you don’t do what society considers normal, but you always have a choice.

    I like the metaphor of a house, although I don’t necessarily agree that a strong foundation is a guarantee that children will not ‘fall in with the wrong crowd’. The cliché of a rebellious teenager is often proved right; if parents try and drill in (what they and society see as) right and wrong too soon or too persistently, then it could have the opposite effect a parent would’ve wished. That’s when it comes down to personality and free-will again. Some teenagers would conform under that pressure, and some would feel smothered and defy their parents/guardians.

    Or something. :)
     
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  3. Adelaide
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    Adelaide Member

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    By all means society encourages conformity---and not just in ways like being religious or having a family. From small things like women shaving their legs to holding a job, we are expected to behave a certain way. And though some things---like women shaving---are not necessarily vital to the function of society, a lot of these expectations arise from the necessity that a certain number of people must fit into those categories for a society to function successfully. Having a job and making money is one of them. Obeying the law is a huge one. It is important also to catch yourself if you do end up being a zombie and don't question anything. That's when we become vulnerable to totalitarianism.
     
  4. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    your 100 % correct. Its like that thread (i cant remember who posted about guns rights.) I was raised around guns my whole life. so to me its normal to have guns. look around, if a father is a drunk and abusive. i bet there is a high probabilty the son will be also. were products of what we see and learn. my wife says im incensitive since i spent 4years in the army going through desert storm. i dont see it but she says i am. says the army ruined me. who knows maybe she is right.
     
  5. Klee
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    Klee Contributing Member

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    Unfortunately, yes. Everyday we are bombarded with add that claim to know and encourage us to behave or look in a certain way, and we are expected to follow it. Not only that, other people also influence us in the way we look and act. A family where the children have been taught to share and play nicely, will probably do and will see the people who do not behave that way, as uncivilized (so to speak).

    Nowadays, people are too stupid (forgive me) to discern from what they should listen to and what not. I think that's were role models come in, if Paris Hilton, or any other super model or actress appears in television promoting something (make-up, clothes, food, etc.) I bet that most girls will go to papa and mama and ask for that same thing.

    Society ask us to conform to a certain standard, for good or bad, to a least achieve a level of comfort with other. Like another poster said, here we see that eating with your hands is wrong (for whatever reason, unsanitary or rude) while in other places it is seen as something normal. We follow that rule of not eating with your hands for convenience, if you do not you will most likely be ostracized and maybe even be corrected by someone.

    The problem is, not everyone is tolerant of other way of living or being. A group of girls might find the outcast goth girl to be weird simply because she does not dress or behave in a way they find acceptable, their way. When in reality, it's just a person just like them, who simply choses to dress that way to be accepted in other group or be different from the norm.

    I don't have any studies in psychology or sociology, this is all my personal thoughts and opinions, please do not be offended.
     
  6. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    stupid is the wrong word. it does not take super-intelligence to notice that society enjoys dictating what we do. Usually, it's got more to do with willful ignorance. Things are good for most people in western society. We have peaceful lives in peaceful homes (for the most part, obviously this doesnt apply to everyone) in peaceful cities. Surely if society can provide us with everything we have, then why would we rebel?

    But is conformity good or bad? Conforming to a fashion or something like that is no big deal. Some might argue the domino effect - we conform to a fashion, and no big deal. We conform to a movement, no big deal. What next? We conform to a war?

    Conformity is unavoidable though. You are conforming whether you want to or not. To fight every single little thing is ridiculous. There is an old saying that I believe delivers probably the wisest words applicable to our society:
    pick your battles.

    Why fight a fashion trend? What need? Who cares? If you dont want to be a trendy dresser, dont be. If you dont to be all lame and emo and gothic or whatever, then dont be. It really doesnt matter what clothes are on our back.

    What matters, is should we conform to a government decision to go to war? To allow them to carry out stem cell research and cloning? We need to fight conformity on the largest, most important scale, not the petty conformity of whether or not you will dress your baby in pink or blue in accordance with gender.
     
  7. Klee
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    Klee Contributing Member

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    Mexico, you got a problem with that?
    I agree that it's the wrong word, but I think people do choose to ignore things, turn the blind eye to what is convenient to them as individuals and not society.

    I agree with you on the domino effect. But I want to recall that what is becoming the norm is also becoming noxious to us, such as the size zero. Girls trying to reach that often succumb to diseases such as anorexia and bulimia that eventually lead to death. Or fashion becoming such a big deal that school cliches will attack members of another cliche for such a stupid (is the that the right word?) reason.

    But you are right, we should pick our battles in order of relevance.
     
  8. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unfortunatly most people do what ever society tells them they should do. In my opinion, it doesn't matter if you conform to a group or not. What is really important is why. If you are doing it because society told you to, then its bad. If you're doing it because it is what you truely want then its fine.

    Also, I have never understood why society wants us to conform. Bad things happen when society grows stagnant. For any society to continue to exist it has to change and evolve over time, which means that there must be people that deviate from the norm. Such as Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony and Gandhi.
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    In my opinion, our idea of unity is humanity's greatist downfall.
     
  10. assassins creed
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    assassins creed Banned

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    Does Society play THAT MUCH of a role in our behavior?...

    To some degree society dictates how we should and should not interact. It is down to us as individuals how we choose to interact with people. We could play along like a good member of the community and do whats expected of us as a prized member of our local community. Let them see that we can behave like any civilized human being by doing the good things expected of us with the eye of the neighbourhood upon us.

    However, If we have a BAD or EVIL streak running through us, we could play it cool within our own neighbourhood. Thus keeping the locals on our side.
    Wait until we are away from the prying eyes of our neighbours, before we act out the HARDMAN image in somebody elses neighbourhood


    It is in these neighbourhoods where we as HARDMEN can build our reputations, by fighting or attempting to be a ROMEO and WOO that neighbourhoods ladies away from them.

    Yes its true that some ladies like the hardman image, as they belieive it will give them some sense of adventure by misbehaving with these wannabe thugs.

    However, the same can be said of good guys & ladies alike. There are equally the same amount (if not more) ladies who prefer to be out with a good hard working individuals. The reason being, these people will respect them for who they are while also earning their respect back, plus they will be respected more by their community in general.

    Don't get me wrong, Life can be cruel to people and they find the only way they have of fighting back and standing up for themselves is to behave in such a manner that befits their circumstances. All the same, people who find themselves in these situations can do better for themselves rather than FOLLOW in the footsteps of the other members of the community.

    This is where we find that we can do something to change our situation, by CHOOSING which path to follow...:eek:
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What is society, other than people united to insure their common interests are satisfied? So of course, adherence to a prescribed set of laws, rules, and customs will be a component of the social contract.

    On the other hand, the reason people congregate to form a society is to guarantee that each individual in that society has the greatest possible freedom that does not unnecessarily constrain the freedom of his or her neighbor.
     
  12. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    The opposite of conformity is anarchy, not individuality. Imagine a world without agreement on social norms.

    I'm bigger than you, so I'm taking your house because it's nicer than mine. You come back a week later with your uncles, brothers and a few friends and forcefully take back the house. This process escalates until two armed camps fight for possession of a stinkin house. What if rape was a legal way for the most aggressive males to expand their genetic pool. I can see it now, some male approaches my daughter with bad intentions, so I pull out my .45 and stop him. Of course, there are no laws governing my use of the .45 so everything is okay! Or is it? Survival of the most aggressive...frightening huh?

    For people to survive in vast communities, it is necessary for them to agree on uniform rules of conduct. This acceptance of general "standards" of behavior begins with laws that provide order and security through police who enforce the rules. Then, the process of finding general "rules" expands to encompass lesser social issues like "standards of decency", "the institution of marriage" and "patriotism". It is these lesser issues that most young people find annoying.

    At 15, you are in one of the most exciting times of your life. I like to call it the "Internalization of Values" period. As a young child, your values were supplied externally by parents or parent surrogates. These external values quickly expand to incorporate opinions from teachers, friends, extended family and (sadly) media like television, movies and the internet. But, these attitudes continue to be "external values" supplied by your environment, until you enter that special period in your life when you begin the internalization process.

    Why do so many teenagers frustrate their parents by "rejecting" the parental teachings? Parents become angry and frightened as little Johnny proclaims that gays should be allowed to get married or that marijuana should be legal. Then, the damn kid demands a nose ring and tattoo! "Oh my God, Mildred! Where did we go wrong?"

    The truth is far less frightening that the symptoms. One can not "test" new values without rejecting the old first. A teenager can not consider the socio-moral implications of abortion while holding strong religious convictions provided externally by parents. So, the youngster who is trying to find his or her own set of "internal values"...those beliefs that will guide him or her for the rest of a lifetime...this teenager rejects the status quo and propounds to "believe" something quite different. Then, the teen begins testing the new ideas...with an "open" mind.

    Ahhh, but here's the devilish catch that the poor teen is incapable of escaping. Its called foundation. Even though the teen has empathy for a woman struggling with the abortion issue, the teen's fundamental mechanism for assessing life was established in the youngest formative years. So, as the child wrestles with the issues, the underlying basis for judgment provides the answers...and resulting adult with internalized values. Despite rejecting the parent's beliefs during those angry "internalization of values" years, the finished adult product often looks a lot like the parents.

    So, as you consider "society's" norms and you draw your own "independent" conclusions, know that you are not the first to challenge the status quo. Some day, your son will accuse you of forever scarring him because you dressed him in pink and subjected him to ridicule in elementary school. He will come home from a sleepover at a friend's house and tell you how they all laughed at him for eating his cereal with his fingers, just as you taught him! And, as he enters his own period of "Internalization of Values", he'll reject your teachings and discover his own truths. After all, your values will appear archaic to him! LOL

    .....NaCl
    A ridiculed parent who once did the same to his parents.
     
  13. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Well, you only view this as bad now because you were raised to view it as bad so, why would it be bad in this hypotetical world? Your perceptions of good/evil change when transferred to a hypotetical world like this. Hypotetically speaking of course :p.
     

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