Essay on To Obey or Disobey

1770 Words Apr 9th, 2011 8 Pages
Obedience is an age old expectation that rulers, priests, and government officials have required for years from their subjects. Most of the time individuals follow their leaders without question. This is the case because the population from which obedience is required believes that they continue to have a choice. When, for whatever reason this belief is lost, some individuals will begin to exhibit an increasing disobedience to the requirement. This often increases to the point of violence or, the case of a country, war. While there are all types of disobedience, this paper will discuss civil disobedience and the social pressure often associated with it.
A good example of this type of cycle can be found in the historical background
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One evening in December, 1955, on her way home from her job in downtown Montgomery Alabama, a woman, Rosa Parks, was asked to give up her seat to a white passenger on the bus she was riding. She refused. She was arrested and fined. This simple action inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott. “By June of 1956, the court declared Alabama's racial segregation laws for public transit unconstitutional. The city appealed and on November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling. . . The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses” ( Bio. True Story). Groups of individuals, when convinced that it is no longer acceptable to conform to the expectation of the ruler can make historical changes in the world in which they live. What causes one individual to become disobedient and another to remain obedient to the group rules? Most people want to believe that they think for themselves; however, when an individual is part of a social group that person will began to assume the group’s ideas and rules. Individuals may then find themselves engaged in a struggle in which they do not believe because of the social pressure to fit into a group. Additionally they may fear being an outcast. This is especially true if friends or family belong to the same group. Doris Lessing wrote “When we’re in a group, we tend to think as that group does: we may even have joined the group to find “like-minded” people.

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