Conformity In Dead Poets Society

760 Words 4 Pages
The movie ‘Dead Poets Society’ demonstrates a great deal of examples on social influence such as conformity within a group and obedience to authority. Milgram’s experiment can be followed throughout the movie. The school traditions dictate a high level of obedience with its rules such as dress code, repetitions after the teacher, and other events which take place on a daily basis. These types of obedience and conformity can lessen the courage to speak up for what one believes in and can prevent the development of one’s own path. Neil didn’t dare to disobey or confront his father. The father was the type of authority which wouldn’t accept any disobedience. That caused Neil to do things behind his back without feeling any support from either …show more content…
Zimbardo, where he internalized the role of victim in relationships with his father. Out of fear, he can’t not talk to him and tell him what he really feels, he silently agrees on every decision his father makes for him

The school rules and families demands impacted students’ identity and the way they perceived the world. Neil developed cognitive dissonance which resulted from school rules and expectations, his father’s demands, and the sense of the self. He had conflicting attitudes and behavior. For Neil it is important to participate in theater but his father does not allow him. He must adhere to father’s rule and behave accordingly. This example also demonstrates a great power of authority his father
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When the boys were deciding to go to the cave against the rules, a strong example of conformity was shown, where Cameron didn’t want to but said yes to be further liked by his classmates. They decide to form the new Dead Poets Society. The boys smoked and drank alcohol illegally which provided them down time. This behavior was not punished. The good or appropriate behavior was reinforced by good grades, pins, and an opportunity to apply for prestige

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