2 Identify why people conform and why they rebel. What makes people want to conform?What makes people want to rebel?How do laws, customs, and group pressures encourage people to conform? Give examples of each.When might conformity be positive? When might it be negative? Provide specific examples.When might dissent be positive? When might it be negative? Provide specific examples.Identify why people conform and why they rebel.
3 Good and bad are often defined by social and cultural norms and these definitions can vary from region to region and from generation to generation. What one community sees as positive may differ from what another community considers to be positive. For example, smoking in school was once an accepted behaviour. Why has this, and other norms, changed in our community over time?Good and Bad
4 Do people tell you, “Be yourself – your are special” Do people tell you, “Be yourself – your are special”? Do you say to yourself, “ I want to be unique and different”? Do you sometimes feel angry and want to rebel against your parents or your teachers? You probably do. We all do at times. But then we find ourselves copying our friends, or dressing and behaving like our favourite musician or actor. Rather than being unique or rebellious, we find that we conform. We want to be part of the gang.Reading
5 To act or behave like the majority, following a set of norms Conform
6 We want to be unique, but we also want to belong; we want to rebel, but we also like to conform. Most of us conform because it is the comfortable thing to do. Think about it. Conforming means that we behave like others, we fit in. People don’t stare at us in strange ways, or mock us, or get angry with us.Fitting In
7 We conform to our society’s unspoken rules, or norms We conform to our society’s unspoken rules, or norms. We stand up when the national anthem is played. We often follow fashion wearing the brand of blue jeans worn by the pop star or model of the moment. We drive on the right-hand side of the road because that is the law. So, is it wrong to conform?Fitting In
8 Unspoken rules about what is considered to be acceptable behaviour. Norms
9 No, Imagine what would happen if some drivers decided not to be in with the rule that we drive on the right. It would be chaotic and dangerous! At the same time, it would also be unhealthy if we accepted all laws, or all fashion trends, or all so-called normal school behaviours (bullying, for instance), without ever questioning them or really thinking about them. Thoughtful conformity is useful; it makes life easier to live. Thoughtless conformity, however, is dangerous!Fitting InSocial Norms worksheet
10 Brainstorm a list of situations in which conformity is positive and list of situations in which conformity is negative.In Small Groups
11 Create a list of norms that you think would be important for you to follow. Then create a list of norms that you think are open to question.Identify some famous rebels from history. What made these people rebels?How can rebellion be considered a good thing?Individually
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