Conformity vs. Non-Conformity to Norms

Normally, every society has its values, beliefs and norms to which its members are expected to abide. It will be very outrageous to find a person going against the normality and living their own lives without observing the set norms. However, there are situations where people tend to believe that going against the societal norms is a show of a high social class and that the norms are meant for the low class. In addition, certain norms may also not be appealing to all. Looking at the various episodes of the Persepolis movie and the reviewed materials reveal that though many may expect conformity, there are situations where individuals may be forced or choose to go against societal norms.

Upon watching the Persepolis movie, one of the things that are evident is the turmoil, both in the religious and political environment in the country of Iran. Protests are the order of the day as people fight for change of the normality. Even the parents of Marjane are involved making her to think of going against the societal norms. At the very earlier stages of the movie, there is some essence of segregation that happens in the organization of the school where Marjane goes. Due to this, she is forced to wear a veil while in school. Marjanes social activism is contributed by the participation of the parents and relatives in the protests in the country. As young as she is, she starts to think of the social inequalities existing in the country, and this is proving tough, as more people die as a result of the same.

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Her being an outspoken and independent lady makes her be expelled from the school. In fact, it is due to the worsening situation in the country that she is forced to go to Vienna. In Vienna, she had many negative experiences, including smoking, depression, and homelessness. This exposed her to chest pains, and she would cough blood in the streets. Back in Iran, she did not depart from her participation in social activism, but later on, she had to move out again, an indication that she never loved Iran. But while still there, she had begun to make shorter veils as opposed to those she wore initially.

The article that I have chosen is Success outside the Dress Code written by Wang in the year 2014. The reason I have chosen this article is because it presents a critical issue of normality in the current world, which determines the level of success an organization is likely to experience. The article also addresses various criteria and how to deal with various people depending on whether they are perceived to be conforming or not. It emphasizes on the group dealings and how being a nonconformist may build competency and status. The short scene from the movie that I have seen to be closely corresponding to the article is the Persepolis-dress code. From both the movie and the article, it is clear that the code of dressing means much in the current world. For instance, in the business world, it affects success of a given company or industry.

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Normally, distinguishing oneself should make one be of influence while at the same time their presence is felt. Wearing sweats in luxury can also make one stand out. The issue plays a role in the business organization. In fact, according to Bellezza, Gino, and Keinan, the nonconformity signals of an individual represent their uniqueness. This is from the perspective of the observer and not whoever is performing the action. However, it is true that whoever is making the observation needs to be familiar with the environment in which one lives. This point is raised in the Success outside the dress code article while at the same time appearing in the movie scene about the dress code.

The scene of torture and death that is evident in the movie is what made uncle Anoosh be outstanding in his different views of Marxism. To others, his action is a proof that he is of different opinions and it is tied to the notion of ones authority, heroism, and power. In their work, Franco and Zimbardo observe that, in most cases, human beings tend to do what is contrary to the acceptable morals and norms. Such divergent opinion is normally considered as evil. In the movie, this is what made uncle Anoosh leave the country for the USSR. He was considered to be doing injustice and evil actions to the country of Iran. According to a study by Franco and Zimbardo, most of the people do not want to stand out and make things straight due to fear of being out of place with the majority. In fact, any individual has the ability to distinguish oneself if they decide to go against the odds when presented with opportunities. However, this may lead to a case where one faces the unthinkable when choosing to deviate from the usual ways of acting in the society.

There are also instances where the conduct termed as nonconformity is what differentiates the heroes from with those who choose to go with the majority. In the process of dressing, there are situations where one can set a standard that is not the same as what is acceptable. However, in this way, it is possible to decide on what is best and what makes one comfortable in a given environment of operation; though from the movie, it is evident that it is risky to behave in such manners. In fact, it is this that made Marjane go away due to the situation in her country and the stand that she had taken. Conversely, there are situations where people who act differently are admired just because of the risk they take, trying to differentiate themselves from the rest.

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Hutson also acknowledges that there are instances where certain individuals may go against the norms. For instance, he notes that those who are rich and wealthy are likely to dress in the way that pleases them, whether it is against the expected norm or not. It is because their actions are not dictated by any person or situation. This also makes them stand out in their own way since what the society expects from them is not what they do in the end. To some extent, it can be said that the social norms are adhered to due to pressure as well as fear of disapproval by the juniors in the society. At the same time, the freedom and will to break the set rules tends to go with the authority and high status of individuals. According to Huston, it is the middle class that may not like to be associated with poverty, and this makes them dress well. This is done with an intention to distinguish oneself in the places of work and may lead to hiring or promotions of individuals who are interested in a particular way of acting.

It can, therefore, be argued that bending or following rules depends on the position that one holds in the society. Those who avoid the norms are associated with power and influence at the same time. In fact, one of the questions that should be asked is whether there is a limit in the concerns about being attractive through the conducts of the nonconformists. Breaking the rules can be a way of flaunting at an event if it is used in the right way and manner since it can be aimed at striking out and attracting attention so that one can be considered as a hero within a known group or strangers.

As indicated, another aspect of conformity across many societies and professions is dress codes. In the business profession, for instance, ones first-time appearance matters so much, as it determines whether the business will proceed between a company and a prospective client. Smith furthered this discussion when he looked at the connection between productivity and the mode of dressing. Confidence level is high in those who are well dressed and also in their perceived thinking. In fact, this is what may increase productivity in a company, as more clients and customers approve the employees of such a company or business entity. Competition in terms of performance can also be enhanced by the code of dressing that one has in the business. Formal dressing is required, but the challenge is the acceptable standards of formality due to the cultural differences as well as environmental changes. This is the reason in the movie scene about the dress code in Persepolis why Marjane comes out with what she considers decent. She reduces the sizes of the veils as fits her best and then protests by going against the acceptable standards in the country of Iran.

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However, it is good to understand that there are situations where norms that are held dearly may not work without professional ideals. For instance, it is clear that productivity is dependent on the ability of differentiation in the positive way and not solely on the dress code as such. If dressing has the ability to improve flexibility and adaptability, only clearer decisions could be made by such individuals who are dressed well, which has not been the case.

Finally, although conformity with accepted standards provides safety, a sense of shared group identity, and trust, Wang argues that conformists miss on the social benefits associated with deviation from norms. Evidently, standing out is the most important aspect in enjoying freedom in the society and keeping along with the current industrial needs of employers. This is so despite the fact that people within various societies argue that they should be guaranteed the freedom of both. It can also be noted that distinguishing oneself helps to create influence as well as attraction. For instance, attires have been used in the movie to create admiration. However, such norms that tend to deprive just a section of the society of their freedom imply that other people can be followed even if they might impact on the organization negatively or if their influence on the society is also outdated and detrimental.

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Oct 31, 2020 in Informative
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