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Why are Children Easy Targets of Conformity?

Children and teenagers have forever been the typical representation of conformity; smoking, taking drugs or forming high school ‘cults’. It is no wonder the media industry strives off our adolescents but we must soon ask why they are such easy targets of conformity…

Why are children easy targets of conformity?

Children and teenagers have forever been the typical representation of conformity; smoking, taking drugs or forming high school ‘cults’. It is no wonder the media industry strives off our adolescents but we must soon ask why they are such easy targets of conformity. The main point is that, as children and adolescents have not yet matured, their characters are still developing, and, as a result, often conform to expectations so as o find a place in their society or environment. Another result of this is that they often seek advice and reassurance, being unsure of themselves, from those they admire or believe to be superior, which would likely to be a parent or a simular adult supervisor, or the leader of their social gathering or ‘playgroup’. Ignorance is also an active participants in persuasion, and, as children and adolescents have experienced less, they fall victim often. One stronger factor is that the punishments of rebelling are far worse than those of the adult world, as acceptance is something that is craved while growing up as is essential to a child’s development, while its importance dwindles as one matures.

            As humans grow in years, their character or personal id, also develops, according to past experiences and situations. As a child or adolescent has not past the stage of maturity, their character has not fully progressed, and so, is still open for alteration and change which will later effect their future years. This means that, as their personality has not ingrained itself, as it has after maturity, it is easy (comparatively) to persuade children and adolescents. For example if a child was being persuaded to do something immoral, they would be easier to manipulate than an adult because they have not lived the lifestyle that discredits this immorality enough to have it ingrained into their character. But this is just one example (of many) that show how an undeveloped character can be elementary in the presence of conformity.

            The consequences of rebelling for a child are also usually much more extreme than an adult’s, making it harder for a child to resist conformity. The adage ‘childhood is about fitting in’ greatly applies to child’s world, and clearly shows the extent to which conformity is upheld. In a child’s perspective, the worst possible outcome is to be rejected from their society and become an outsider by default, as most other things are taken care of and taken for granted as typical or ‘normal’. However, in contrast to this, in an adult’s perspective, it is not as essential to ‘fit in’ as there is considerable less pressure to conform, on the contrary, some even choose to live of the fringes of society and are outsiders by their own wanting. This demonstrates the difference of child’s and adult’s perspective alike and shows the sever consequences of rebelling in a child’s life (being harsher than in an adult’s) that are fundamental motives in a child’s conformity. 

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