Conformist Mass Society or Non-Conformist Rebellion? What education can do to resolve the conformity – non-conformity dichotomy?
Keywords:conformity, non-conformity, community, autonomy, education
The “profane” meaning of conformism is first provided by American philosopher and liberal thinker William Penn, in his work dated from around 1700. According to Penn, conformity is a civil virtue whose price is the loss of freedom. The description of conformity as deprivation of freedom becomes stronger in 20th century philosophy from Heidegger through Fromm up to Fischer’s definition as “the sinking of the Self into the Anyone is conformism.” Education and pedagogy have serious debts as to the recognition of and solutions to the problem of conformity. In the community relations of the students, the principle of the structural regularity of increasing conformity, and in our schools, the easily adapting and more so conforming student have become the ideal. And where is the place, the value of conformity and non-conformity in society? And first of all: what can education do against the deceptive contrast of conformity – non-conformity. That is a matter of great importance.