Does Social Norm Shape Our Personality

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Does Social Norm shape our Personality? Andrew Lansley, a British Conservative politician, once said, “Peer pressure and social norms are a powerful influence on behavior” (Brainy Quote, 2015). Personally, I think this quote portrays the structure of society we are living in right now: people imitate others, as they don’t want to be left alone. Frankly, people nowadays are acting and thinking similarly because of the social norms that are enforced upon them from when was young. The idea of social norms and common beliefs have become part our life, which are causing people to think similarly in making a decision. “Fit into the society” is the term that runs deeply in my minds because acting differently seems unacceptable in my country. Therefore, majority of people’s beliefs and identities are scripted and shaped by norms relate to peers, community, and culture. When taking a moment to reflect on this society, we would realize that our biggest desire is to be recognized by our peers. In fact, it is true that human behavioral norms are established in groups and can influence more people over a time. Stuart Hall, a cultural theorist, states “belonging is a tricky concept, requiring both identification and recognition.” Indeed, people have the feeling of belonging to a group or being valued through recognition by others. In this case, people start to imitate each other and become someone else rather than being himself or herself. In people’s mind, imitation is an important step in which people can improve their social approval. For example, as a child, I noticed that people tended to want to be friends with the “cool kids”. Before doing so, many students would have to change their style of clothing, their tone of speaking, and their way of thinking, which implies that perhaps people would have to change their identity in order to fit into another group. This trend,

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