A.S.G.'s Rambling #115
Firstly, I would like to apologise for the rambling, incoherent, irrelevant nature of this post. After I typed a significant amount of this I realised I had used far more words than were necessary, yet I could not bring myself to delete it and summarise. Instead, I decided to write this brief disclaimer which extends the length of this post, for which I apologise. the views expressed in the following piece of work are not necessarily the views of anyone and any resemblence to characters either living or dead, is purely coindicental. Now, back to our scheduled programming.
'no man is an island'.
there seems to be an inert drive in people to 'conform'*, or attempt to fit in to whatever situation you find yourself in. the clearest examples (I think) are to be found in teenagers. there are three main groups to split them in to.
3) Genuine loners
I would like to disregard group three as a study of an individual, whilst fascinating is useless here and without a particular case study, completely arbitrary.
the non-conformists are generally made up of (what mtv has dubbed) 'alternatives'. these are generally people who dress in (orthadox) unorthadox manner. Goths, punks, emos, metal-heads (sup 1980s) etc...
the conformists are generally made up of everyone else.
this may seem rather simplistic but the idea is to divide those who consider themselves to be 'non-conformist' into a seperate grouping for reasons which will soon become clear.
On a macro-social scale (yes, I shall be making up phrases/words if and when the need arises) there would seem to be a clear divide between the two groupings. But when we look closer (at the micro-social level) it soon becomes obvious that the same peer pressures exist.
Certain clothes are taboo. Imagine a chav going up to his chav mates dressed like a goth. It's not a pretty sight. But the same is also true of the opposite. A goth going up to his goth mates with his tracksuit bottoms tucked into his socks is going to be completely ridiculed.
It is these bounderies (reinforced with a desire to fit it or not be rejected) that cause a certain level of self censorship and a restriction of what we say or do in certain company. there are many thngs said on here which would be considered unacceptable in another social setting.
When someone feels comfortable in a social setting their behaviour can begin to (subconsiously) mirror the behaviour of the people you're with i.e. sitting the same way, whatever.
I believe the same is true of mental processes. the more you learn about a group the more you know what is acceptable or what is not. this invariably shapes you attitude.
this is simple when you only belong to one social group. When you are a member of several groups it become 'natural' to compsrtmentalise behaviours and discussions. For example, it may not be appropriate or rewarding trying to talk to your drinking buddies about the role of existentialism in the works of Dostoevsky, nor would it be prudent to tell your book club exactly what you said to the girl at the bar to cause her to slap you across the face.
Each group (like everything you experiance) has a different influence on your psyche. If you only have the one grouping for many years it will almost inevitably drift apart as different scenarios place different needs and desires upon yourself and others of the group. this can be caused by a number of different reasons. One is that you are drawn (forced) into another group which for some reason (geography, gradual change of mindset, etc) now takes priority over the old. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Well not quite, as when this old group reforms, there tends to be a reversion to your particular role within the group. things can change depending on your life experiances up to that point but there are still a number of old traits that resurface.
to summarise, the social environment (either at work or out of work) can have a major influence on your outlook of life if you are in it for a long enough period of time. the classic example is of the employee internalising the company's morals and beliefs in order to work their way up the economic ladder. Whether or not they realise they are doing it at the time.
*whether this is natural or a feeling implanted by the socio-economic system we inhabit is not something I want to go into at the moment.
The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.