The youth is confronted by various issues and concerns in the society during his growing up years. The confrontations of the youths in the society result to various reactions. They may conform with the norms they see in the environment or they may resolve to rebellion as an expression of disagreement of what they witness all around. The youth are torn between conforming what they are expected of them by the society or in rebellion to show their distaste to the pressures around.
For the youth to submit to conformity is understood as an evil of today’s era. Rebellion is the most common path that majority of the youth today chooses. It is their perceived solution to most of their problems. Suddenly, they withdraw, alienate and disengage from the authority and choose not to participate in the society. Those who rally openly are forms of rebellious struggle that demands immediate response for their current dilemmas and concerns.
As stated by Philips, Stanilus and Szurek, that “the pleasure or satisfaction in all areas of everyday living either does not occur or is much decreased and distorted in the psychic context of rebellion, alienation, or neurotic over-conformity” (Philips et al, p464).
Conformity is referred to as the submission to the concurrent prevailing ideas and dogmas of the society, where there is little or no modification to the norms, customs and the consequent inhibition of the personal innovation. As a response to external coercion, the youth is situated in an internal conflict as well anxiety of the self-expression impulses. Thus, in retrospect, the youth is molded into predetermined expectations (Philips et al, 464).
Conformity is greatly contrasted by individualism. Throughout history, the condition of conformity varies per period in accordance to the writers on each era. The literary works at certain time represents a reflection of the current state of the society. In the early years, conformity was counted similar with individuality. However, their interrelation progressed into more of differences than similarities. It was during the 1920’s that the concept of individualism was construed to a form of rebellion, where the youth at that period were driven for expression of themselves against the any restrictions of the society and release their self-control. On the later part of the 1970s, individualism geared towards the quest of self-development and self-absorption no longer constrained by the constraints in the society. The major consideration of the paradigm shift is greatly influenced by the concept of self. Self is seen as a fluid entity that gained freedom from the social determination. The concept of self is “limited by hereditary and environment, and ridden with both inner conflicts and the difficulties of compartmentalized roles” (Thomsonm, p501). The consideration to gaining success is the practice of self-control and achievement of the set persona goals while being part of the dynamic society. Although the self is “driven by deep impulses” that is mostly unrecognizable and unfathomable, it is normal for every individual especially the youth to face his internal conflicts brought about by a compartmentalized self.
Conformity among the youth is fueled greatly by the powerful force of the social pressures. The youth has been governed from the past to the present. As recalled, the massive rebellion of the youth during the 1930s exploding the silent generation into a generation of clamoring and desperate gangs. That point of so called rebellion by the younger generations propelled them to be profoundly uncongenial to the society regardless of the period and place. The birth of the term conformity then silently and subtly equates to that rebellion. Conformity is then considered as the “ejaculation induced by the sight if anyone doing anything that is offendingPerhaps it conveys no more sense than a sigh or a caterwaul of pain” (Metzger, p357).
There is too much pressure on the word itself where various interrelated definitions are attached to its essence. Conformity also refers to standardized tastes where there is no longer the sense of reflective thinking. There is an absence of social innovation and the dominance of conservative ideologies. It can also refer to as the integration of variety of flaws in the scope of national character where it started with a spineless approval that further developed into passivity of parental norms acceptance. It can also mean as the spurious agreement of the word while failing to agree with the problem. The society has been the stage for a manipulative world commending all its constituents to abide by their roles. Even in the early growing early year of a child, he is called to learn and accept the limiting demands and rewards of his social interactions. Conformity is the enactment of the individual’s social roles attached with the individual’s position, age, sex occupation and class. This reality in life reduced the conformity especially in the youth as a form of habit.
Philips, I., Srurek, S. “Conformity, Rebellion, and Learning: Confrontation of Youth with Society”. Mer J Orthopsychiat. Vol 40, N0. 3. (1970).
Thomson, E. Individualism and Conformity in the 1950’s vs the 1980’s”. Sociological Forum, Vol 7 No 3 (1992). Pp 497-516
Metzger, W. “On Youth ad Conformity”. AAUP Bulletin, Vol 46, No. 4 (1960). Pp 357-360.