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How does social science research help find solutions to extreme conformity?

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kcjul34 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM via web

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How does social science research help find solutions to extreme conformity?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM (Answer #1)

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Since sociology is the study of societies and cultures, and how they function, sociology would be very helpful to study the phenomenon of conformity. 

Here are a few ways:

First, we need to realize that all societies are socially constructed. When we realize this, then we can see how a society has been constructed. More to the point, we will be able to see the power dynamics of all cultures. When we do this, we will be able to see the power of conformity. 

Second, we can use the social theories of Peter Berger (one of the best social scientist). He coined a few concepts. The first is the idea of institutions. Institutions are those elements in society that are so taken for granted that they become patterns – patterns of thought, behavior, and discourse. From this point of view, it does not take much to see that institutions can create conformity. 

Another concept is called roles. Roles are closely linked to institutions. When people unquestioningly believe in institutions, they learn the proper social roles - again, something that is akin to conformity. 

As you can see, there are many tools in the social sciences. 

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