Conformity throughout the decades

April 13, 2015

st0413-01Conformity is described to be the influence of others, complacency, or consensus.

Since the 1950’s, the idea of conformity has constantly shifted as American culture has undergone major transitions. Although the decade of the 1950’s can be categorized as a period of conformity and a time of prosperity among the people, some believe that there were many flaws in this conformed country, which caused many people to rebel against cultural norms.

Intellectual elites such as artists, politicians, and other influential people sought to show the world their own unique perspectives.

Suburbanization became a big factor during this time period; houses and the living environment of each person became closely related to those of others. People started to value possession over their own self-worth and morals.

However, these aspects only applied to the affluent. Poor people were still separated from society, which only increased the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Starting in the 1950’s, the expression of abstract art valued the idea of freedom, allowing artists to stray away from cultural norms. Abstract art leaves room for artists to express their individual thoughts and feelings freely, which opens their work to many different interpretations rather than a singular stance that the rest of society is able to explicitly understand. Artists like Jackson Pollock created artwork that defied the conventional definition of beauty according to society’s expectations-one of the most influential means to stand up against conformity.

Since the 1950’s, the idea of conformity has brought constantly shifting changes to the political, social, and cultural spheres of America. Over the decades, people have become increasingly blinded by materialistic value, while others express their own freedom through art.

In my opinion, conformity has much less value in today’s society. Social and political changes have brought fairer equality among the people, which allows individuals to freely express their perspectives and interests without the pressure of having to “fit in.” Whether an artist, hardworking student with a unique sense of style, or a prominent political figure with unconventional core values, the American today has every right to be his or her own person, not one who sticks by expectations.


st0413-01-1 Harry Ahn
Los Angeles High School of the Arts 11th Grade

One Comment

  1. kelly

    November 27, 2017 at 12:54 PM

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