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Does conformity ultimately determine social behaviour?

Asked by: Overkill
  • Social behaviour is built on interactions

    Social behavior, being related to social interactions determines what are cultural norms or social behavior. This can only be achieved by conformity, for if no one did the same things, there would be no defined social behavior, we would just be generally unique. Only when there is a level of commonality, can you say that one stands apart, such as one who is anti-social, or behaves in a way that is not socially responsible. Social behavior can only be defined from conformity, or people acting alike.

  • We Go Along to Get Along Because We Were Born Social Creatures



    Everyone wants to be liked, because they need to be part of the
    group. Like our primate ancestors, we humans seek to be part of the successful
    hunting bands that knock down the biggest game, or invited to gather the nuts
    and berries in the richest fields. Even nonconforming revolutionaries, artists and scientists
    speak of their activities in terms of uplifting, expressing or serving their particular group. We
    cannot help it; we humans were born social.


  • Fortunately concern with the good is also a factor

    Conformity (for its own sake not just when the group happens to be right about what's good) is often what people do when they are being selfish and just want to get what ever benefits they can easily get through agreement or even playing upon popular ideas like corrupt demagogues often do.
    Contrast that to someone who has the good of all on their mind. Sometimes then one must do something that violates social consensus and even deeply entrenched social norms as they may realize it is for society's own good even if society doesn't understand or agree.
    That's doing what is at the very least intended pro-social behavior but pro-social is not the same thing as conforming. For instance a con artist may conform to a group's ideas in order to exploit them towards some personal benefit, that's not pro-social and is in fact quite anti-social.
    If social behavior was just all conformity societies would collapse as everyone would be wearing masks and plotting their moves and using and abusing the system, exploiting conformity to get personal benefits. Evenetually you just get a cesspool of groupthink and the worst ideas get promoted because everyone is nodding for the brownie points.
    Concern for the good is what holds us together.


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