Blog #5

Research round 3: Are society’s standards advantageous for us? I believe this question must be researched to answer my inquiry question: Why do people try to fit in society’s standards? Maybe society’s standards are set for a reason. Maybe they are there for us to follow and become the best of ourselves. I will research with multiple sources to find my answer.

Social Norm Examples | YourDictionary

The pros of social norms (standards):
-Historical values are promoted
-People may be kept under control
-May increase the level of kindness in a society
-People may feel more secure
-You may stop bad habits
-May help you to find new friends
-Necessary to be a valuable member of society
-Complying with social norms makes your parents proud
-People know how the game works
-Social norms may keep the current system working
-Conformity to social norms can give you a career boost (1)

The cons of social norms (standards):
-Loss of individuality
-People behave like machines
-Lack of diversity
-People live their life not to their fullest
-Other people determine what’s going on in your life
-Social conditioning is not always beneficial for you
-Personality development is prevented or slowed down
-You will never become a strong character
-People become dependent
-Mental problems
-You may regret it in your later life
-Conformity may turn people into pets
-Many social norms are obsolete (1)

Laws and standards are there for a reason
A study shows that when public smoking bans were enacted in three California cities, compliance was high, and the cities received few reports of violations. This is because the law had an impact not because of the threat of state enforcement, but because the law suggests that most people believe it is wrong to smoke in public places. And if most people think it is wrong to smoke in public places,  smokers are less likely to smoke, because they do not want to be criticized or reprimanded. This means that when standards are set, they should be followed. This links with law, laws are there to minimize crimes and any negative actions. Certain standards are set meaning to be followed for the good of everyone. (2)

Problems with social norms
All societies have standards set by society, and they can be positive, negative, or neutral. Often these norms are viewed as moral prescriptions even when they have no moral content. Social norms can become problematic when they encourage behaviour that is damaging to certain groups. Racism and sexism have both been social norms at various times. It was once a social norm that women did not work. Social norms now suggest anyone interested in obtaining work and able to do so should have the option to do so. However, other racist and sexist behaviours remain social norms in some locations. Expected gender roles can also be problematic when people fall outside of the societal expectations of their gender or do not belong to the gender binary and are treated negatively for their perceived lack of conformation. Because social norms often do not have specific reasoning behind them, they can be more difficult to change than explicit rules such as laws. People often continue to do things the way they have always done them rather than respond to new information or ideas in a changing society, which can have a significant impact on those who do not conform to prescribed social norms. (3)

So what now?
In our society today, parents have agreed to disagree that there is one parent group that is fine with their children dressing however they want and the other extreme says that kids must follow a strict dress code (dresses must touch the floor, hair can only be so long, etc.). These are both standards on the extreme sides of the spectrum, since there are so many standards. What would happen to a society with no standards? Rather than imposing a standard, what we have to do is to show the benefits of the standards that we have chosen for our lives. The results of the way we parent, the way we manage our finances, and the way we behave in our relationships, can prove the benefits of the standards we have chosen for the rest of society. (4)

To summarize, I find that the main reason for social norms is fear. The fear of not fitting in, getting bullied, trouble with parents, etc. Even me, I hesitate doing things that others don’t. If there are clothes I have that I want to wear, but it is not a trend anymore, then I will put it back. My research answered my inquiry question. Fear is one thing, but I also believe that our childhood and own experiences are another. For example, if one child has been bullied for what they wore they are most likely to carry this memory with them, this child would be more cautious of what they wear because of the way they were hurt. And another case of a child who has had many friends and only ever received compliments. This child would not fear to do anything and would most likely be confident in wearing things that others do not. In conclusion, I hope that society starts to change into a more open and unique place. A society where we can have more freestyle and do what our hearts desire.



Thank you for reading.

3 Replies to “Blog #5”

  1. Hey Kiara,
    The post is really interesting. I also fall under your category. I can’t do something that is not done in our community. I agree with you that one should do what he or she likes .I am looking forward to your next post. Thank you.

  2. Hi Kiara,
    I really liked how your post was structured and all the information you included.I thought it was interesting how you said that social norms help us succeed and make others happy , but at what cost should success be traded for individuality and being yourself? Just something i thought of while reading your post.I can’t wait to read your next blogpost , good luck!

  3. Hi Kiara,

    I always look forward to reading your posts because they are so informative. For example, I loved how you included the good and bad side of social norms. This made me see different types of social norms. For example, the racist and sexist norms differ a lot from chewing with your mouth closed. This is motivating me to follow some social norms because I want to be polite. Some questions I have for you are: What are some statistics of people that follow positive norms? What are some statistics of people that follow the negative norms? What are some more examples of positive social norms and negative social norms?

    Here are some resources to further your research:

    Thank you and I can’t wait to read more of your posts,

    Sarah Kim

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