Definition of Conformity
Examples of Conformity
- Facing the door while riding in an elevator.
- Following the law.
- People who wear clothes while attending university.
- American English – /kuhn-fOR-muh-tee/
- British English – /kuhn-fAWm-i-tee/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /kənˈfɔrməti/
- British English – /kənˈfɔːmɪti/
- Plural: conformities
- Conformity is contrasted to deviance.
- Also called:
- A (noun) conformist (verb) conforms to conformity.
- “Examples of positive sanctions include praise, honors, or medals for conformity to specific norms” (Kendall 2006:56).
- “The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live. It forces the individual, in so far as he is involved in the system of market relationships, to conform to capitalistic rules of action. The manufacturer who, in the long run, acts contrary to these norms, will just as inevitably be eliminated from the economic scene as the worker who cannot or will not adapt himself to them will be thrown into the streets without a job” (Weber [1904–5] 1930:19–20).
- “[T]he essential aspect of social structure lies in a system of patterned expectations defining the proper behavior of persons playing certain roles, enforced both by the incumbents’ own positive motives for conformity and by the sanctions of others. Such systems of patterned expectations, seen in the perspective of their place in a total social system and sufficiently thoroughly established in action to be taken for granted as legitimate, are conveniently called ‘institutions‘. The fundamental, structurally stable element of social systems then, which, according to the present argument, must play a crucial role in their theoretical analysis, is their structure of institutional patterns defining the roles of their constituent actors” (Parsons 1954:231).
- Role Theory Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “conformity” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Anleu, Sharyn L. Roach. 2006. Deviance, Conformity, and Control. 4th ed. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Pearson Education.
- Asch, Solomon Elliott. 1987. Social Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Kohn, Melvin L. 1969. Class and Conformity: A Study in Values. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press.
- Merton, Robert King. 1968. Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press.
- Rosenberg, M. Michael, Robert A. Stebbins, and Allan Turowetz. 1982. The Sociology of Deviance. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. 13th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.
Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Parsons, Talcott. 1954. “The Present Position and Prospects of Systematic Theory in Sociology” in Essays in Sociological Theory. Rev. ed. Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press.
Note: Read for free at the Open Library.
Weber, Max. [1904–5] 1930. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by T. Parsons. London: Allen and Unwin.
Note: Page number is from a reprinted edition, Routledge Classics (2001).
Branscombe, Nyla R., and Robert A. Baron. 2017. Social Psychology. 14th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson.
Farlex. (N.d.) TheFreeDictionary.com: Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Farlex. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/).
Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “conformity.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 29, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/conformity/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
conformity. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/conformity/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “conformity.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed September 29, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/conformity/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“conformity.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/conformity/>.