2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

SOCI 36743 Conformity and Rebellion

This course examines, from a social psychological perspective, the complex and dialectical relationship between meeting expectations (conformity) and defying expectations (rebellion) in regard to decisive activity. A social psychological perspective emphasizes the decisions people make in provocative settings, or contexts that involve moments of truth. In this vein, conformity appears in opposition to rebellion . However, conformity can, and often does, imply some form of rebellion just as rebellion implies some form of conformity. Both conformity and rebellion can become problematic, or linked to existential decisions to either act against habit, judgement, and moral standpoints. Rebellion can be seen as an unwanted occurrence that threatens our preferred styles of life, requiring resolution through conformity; conformity can become seen as an impediment to a free society which, in order to salvage a sense of free choice, requires some form of rebellion. Examination of the complex relationship between conformity and rebellion can sharpen our focus when considering, specifically, in what kind of society we wish to live.