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Unread 18 Jan 2007, 02:40   #1
All Systems Go
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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.

1) Conformists
2) Non-conformists
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.
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Unread 18 Jan 2007, 02:47   #2
Tomkat
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Re: A.S.G.'s Rambling #115

I'm not sure I agree with you on the clothing/fashion angle (you realise your original post covers two pretty separate topics yet you've tried to merge them?).

You're saying that people want to conform with each other, so dress in a similar way to their peers/friends.

I think it's more that life becomes easier when people conform. Life would be more difficult for you if you wore a bright pink suit to work than if you wore a sensible navyblue one.

Yes, I could wear a white shirt and blue jeans and some black shoes like the million other guys who go out on a Saturday night dressed like that. I never do though. How I dress affects how people speak to me and interact with me on a social level.

There's also the completely subjective side of fashion. People dress in a certain way because they think it looks good. I would never dress in "skinny jeans" for example, no matter how fashionable they were, as I think they look shit. On the other hand, I often wear hats which none of my friends do (and did before I lost my hair, too) and have recently taken to wearing waistcoats. That isn't conformity.
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Unread 18 Jan 2007, 10:27   #3
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Re: A.S.G.'s Rambling #115

It's surely an evolutionary imperative to want to blend-in to whatever social group you're part of. I'm not sure anything new has been said here, it's millions of years of evolutionary pressure which we're still all influenced by but are at least aware of and can exploit (the psychology of branding and brand names is probably parallel to that of social conformity).
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Unread 18 Jan 2007, 12:26   #4
All Systems Go
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Re: A.S.G.'s Rambling #115

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat
you realise your original post covers two pretty separate topics yet you've tried to merge them?
his was originally started to be a reply to pig's thread about morality. I was trying to talk about the social aspects of conformity andthe internalisation of beliefs to make life easier.

I was also going to talk about the biological element and possibliy some other things but it was far too long as it was, it would have taken ages to actually get back round to the point of morality and quite frankly, I just ran out of steam.
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Unread 18 Jan 2007, 12:30   #5
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Re: A.S.G.'s Rambling #115

nothing's new on the internet pabby
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Unread 18 Jan 2007, 15:06   #6
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Re: A.S.G.'s Rambling #115

I don't think it's necessarily a censorship thing. True, I can't go to my nightclub of choice dressed as a chav without facing some awkwardness, but would I really want to? No. I started wearing black clothes ages ago because I realised one day how annoying it was to have different colour clothes which clashed (noticable even to my insensitive eyes). Over the years it did mean that I gravitated towards gurlz who also wore black. And now my walkman is full of EBM goth shite. At no point was I self-censoring or whatever, it's just a natural progression of events.
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