Paired Texts > Conformity
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In this excerpt, American author and philosopher Emerson expounds his Transcendentalist beliefs about individuality and nonconformity.Pair “Conformity” with the “Excerpt from ‘Self-Reliance’” and ask students to compare each piece’s stance on conformity. Is it good or bad, essential or unnecessary?
The Third Wave was an experimental social movement created by high school history teacher Ron Jones in 1967 to explain how the German populace could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War. While he taught his students about Nazi Germany during his "Contemporary World History" class, Jones found it difficult to explain how the German people could accept the actions of the Nazis, and decided to create a social movement as a demonstration of the appeal of fascism. As the movement grew outside his class and began to number in the hundreds, Jones began to feel that the movement had spiraled out of control.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Conformity” and ask students how the psychology of crowd behavior may help explain what happened in Ron Jones’ social experiment.
The text, transcribed from an original NPR interview segment, reports on the social pressure students feel to be popular in school as well as new research suggesting that among teens, peer pressure and popularity can have significant effects on education.Pair “Conformity” with the “Students’ Work Ethic Affected by Peer Groups, Desire to Be Popular” and ask students to compare each piece’s stance on conformity. Can it be avoided and how?
In the informational text "Want to Get Into College? Learn to Fail," dean of admissions Angel B. Pérez discusses what colleges are really looking for and offers his surprising take on the importance of failure.Pair “Conformity” with “Want to Get Into College? Learn to Fail” and ask students to discuss how students’ presentation of themselves on college applications could be seen as a type of conformity. Why might students think it is “safer” to present themselves as perfect? Why do you think admission officers would be less excited about a student who has conformed to an ideal of perfection? What are the potential benefits of being more genuine and avoiding conformity when you apply to college?
"Herd Behavior" describes how individuals change when they are part of a crowd.Pair “Conformity” with “Herd Behavior” to introduce another lens for viewing human behavior in crowds. How are the concepts of conformity and herd behavior related to each other?