Society: A Villain?

Society is everywhere. Whether one’s eating, walking the dog, going to class, etc, we cannot do anything without being influenced by social standards and pressures. It is nearly impossible to escape. Society is full of many dominant cultural expectations, some which may be against the moral wellbeing of some individuals. And if one is against the norm, society begins to hammer them down, slowly causing them to break down and shatter.

Society tells us how to live our lives: how to dress, how to act, etc. In our current society, there are many social stereotypes that are considered “inferior”. Such lesser groups are decided by a large groups of people pushing ideals down peoples’ throats. Homosexuality can be considered a lesser group, as it is not considered “normal” to be gay. African Americans for most of our country’s history were treated like dirt, and any interaction with them was looked down upon. With these and many other social stereotypes, it stimulates hateful action. Continuing with the previous example, such violence against homosexuals has been seen throughout history, especially in California during the 1970s. These social pressures thus cause people to harass other people if they act somewhat out-of-line according to the norm.

Media plays a large role in the rigging of social practices. For example, in the 19th century, the media often stereotyped Irish Americans as being violent amongst themselves and other ethnic groups, prone to alcohol, and controlled by mob bosses and other criminal organizations. Catholicism, at that same time, was openly mocked by Protestants. It even progressed to a point in which Protestants refused to hire any Irish Catholics. Even in our current media, most of the headlines on television and in newspapers are about negativity. Is there any good news? Hearing one negative story after another is not too pleasant or hopeful to hear about. Believe it or not, people do love hearing happy stories as well. With the media enforcing such hateful beliefs and negative values, a perpetual cycle is created, continuing the hatred, segregating the people, and even sparking some violence.

The solution to society’s rigor and homogenous views is education. Throughout all the examples above, ignorance and a one-sided opinion seem to be both crucial overlying factors. By providing differing views in school and in the media, the individual is able to see a poignant, well-rounded picture. With new ideas and lessons, people will begin to become more accepting and less strict about political and economic views and cultural practices. Solidarity amongst the people will begin to form, creating a new and improved societal system.

Society is naturally not perfect. With the negative communication practices in the media and homogenous cultural system, it is clear that society simulates a villainous persona. Living in a villainous society obviously does not benefit anyone as it stunts individuality and overall growth. The only way to end such villainy is to promote a heterogeneous education, in which many opinions are permitted. Yes, society is overbearing, but if we conquer above such hateful thought, our people will flourish. Who doesn’t want that?




  1. #1 by urcl2si on May 1, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    Although I agree that society is a major influence that affects our every action, I have the feeling you are accusing society of creating the evils that we are now seeing. It is important to recognize that while humans are influenced by society, we are not passive recipients. Also, we should also note Freud’s idea that the human being is evil and that human excesses must be controlled by society.

  2. #2 by urfp2ae1 on May 1, 2011 - 11:53 pm

    I agree somewhat with what you are saying because society does play a role in what we decide to do, “peer pressure”. We typically go along with what others are doing or deciding to do. Usually individuals don’t want to stand out from the crowd, as a result they just follow whatever society is doing.

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