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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Compresses of Conformity

When you think of a group being led astray, what do you think of? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1700).

It gives me even greater respect for the sometimes overwhelming power of conformity within the human psyche. All of us need look no further than ourselves to understand the pressures that can involute group singularity. Even if we are iconoclasts, there is usually a clutch of us. Conformity pressures can be subtle or egregious; the yearning for acceptance and approval can be conscious or unconscious; the fear of isolation starkly bare or cloaked; the yearning to feel good about ourselves uppermost or passive. The moment that we presume we are above and beyond "yes men" vulnerability, the greater the threat of conformity. I sometimes wonder if seemingly ironclad "self-chosen" seating arrangements in regular gatherings of people – as in class or church – are not an aspect of conformity.

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