Why did people move to America? To have freedom. People would say that is and will always be our biggest value in America. In our class’s sociology book, Values are defined as “collective conceptions of what is considered good desirable, and proper – or bad, undesirable and improper, in a culture” (Witt). Early in the 18th century people moved to America for two reasons, for religious freedom and to start a new life in the “New World.” In the United States, people can say anything, be anything they want and go anywhere with no limits. But is that true?
Many Americans believe they do have freedom to make decisions. But with the growth in technology and media people don’t realize they are involved in conformity. Conformity means “the act of going along with peers-individuals of our own status who have no special to direct our behavior.” Another big Value for Americans is trying to save money because our economy is not the greatest. With the influence of the media advertising products that have no beneficial factor other than wanting a person to buy it makes it difficult to save money. For example while I was watching television one morning I saw a commercial selling a “Pillow Pet” I began to ask myself what is the benefit of having this product, but then as the commercial went on, I realized it was intended for children. If I were a child and saw that commercial I would assume that every child had one and would beg my parents to order me one so I could be involved with the In-Group. The In-Group “is the feeling of being involved in something special.”
There are some people that don’t like the control of Conformity in America and they rebel by being deviant. Deviance is, “behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society” (Witt). We have seen this happen to many celebrities all because of fame. One example of this is Brittany Spears. As a young artist she was forced to be a sweet and innocent singer, but as she grew up she began going out to clubs, parties and taking inappropriate pictures for the tabloids. With America watching, we knew this was wrong and out of character for her, so we put her in a category of being deviant.
As I look at these examples I began to question whether or not I am a conformist or if I make my own values. I believe I am a conformist because I am in college getting the education I need to better my life. I do believe I am involved in conformity because I eat cereal for breakfast to save time so I can do more things in my day and I shop for the newest clothes whenever I have money. I believe that you can be whoever you want to be all you have to do is work hard to get there, which is another example of my conformity.