1. Suppose that someone argued that conformity is bad under all circumstances. Do you agree or disagree? State your response, and explain why you think so.

Conformity refers to the convergence of individual responses towards group norms. Most of the time people adopt group norms as their own, believing them to be correct and appropriate. (Smith et al, pg 334). In many cases conformity is believed to be bad in that it can cause a negative impact on society, it can form unacceptable behaviour, unhappiness or disappointment and can be wrong or immoral as in the case of Nazi Germany. If some one were to argue however that conformity is bad under all circumstances I would have to disagree. Conformity can also be beneficial to many. It not only allows the proper functioning of a society, but it can also produce many positive results in both groups and amongst individuals. Most people throughout their lives balance the need to conform and fit in with the need to express their individuality throughout their lives. Finding this balance however is a challenge and in some circumstances groups or individuals can lose their identity altogether by succumbing to external pressures around them.   In this essay I will discuss the benefit and disadvantages of conformity in terms of religious, political, moral and social pressures.

Throughout history, conformity has lead to the most violent of wars, of religious and ideological conflict (Rosenbaum pg 55).   This is clearly illustrated in the events of the holocaust, during which we saw the mass killings of many minority groups in Germany including the Jewish community, Gypsies, homosexual and homeless people. Historians are still unable to explain why millions of Germans voted for National Socialism and how such a regime could eventually acquire such an extensive European Empire (Welsh, pg1). Sometimes, however, conformity occurs because we feel we have no choice but to go along with social norms. These people conform because...