4 Types of Social Pressure In The 21st Century (With Examples)

Types of social pressure

The presence of social pressure can be silent and unnoticed, as well as, very outspoken and intended. I’ll be considering four types of social pressure (the broad categories) in their increasing order: from silent to outspoken. Then I’ll go cover the sources and examples of social pressure.

Types of Social Pressure- Self Discovery Blog

Types Of Social Pressure

  1. Societal norms
  2. Social media
  3. Peer pressure
  4. Intimidation

1. Societal norms social pressure

This is the first, most basic, and most common form of social pressure everyone faces. No human on earth is exempted from the social pressure of societal norms, although we can learn to be free from it. (That is the purpose of this article). The social pressure of societal norms starts right from birth with the expectations and conformities that our immediate family expects from us.

We are taught to behave in certain ways and react to certain situations in certain ways, and whenever we go against those ‘codes of conduct’, we are treated badly or made to feel guilty or like a misfit.

These responses we receive from our environment for our actions and inactions, go on to form our inner critic— our self judge, and moral sense of right and wrong. This inner critic is built in us that even when we are taken away from such an environment, the judge will always judge us whenever we don’t conform to the expectations it has learned.

For example, you will always feel bad if you’re trying to take a career path that your society considers contemptible even if you are in an environment where no one sees you or cares, except you get free from the effect societal pressure has been built into you.

The social pressure caused by societal norms can become so subtle and ingrained that we see them as our decision when in fact, we detest them.

Over to the next type of social pressure

2. Social media social pressure

Pressure from social media is almost unavoidable these days owing to how our lives have become intertwined and almost inseparable from social media. Society today is incomplete without social media. We can safely say the social media is our society. In fact, it is the only society some people know. Anyway, that aside…

Our focus here is the social pressure that social media puts on us. A study shows that the use of social media directly affected self-esteem (one of the dangers of social pressure).

The reason for this is not far-fetched: there is so much pressure from the social media on us to “level up” or try to fit in– what to wear, where to go, what to have, and how to look. Since this is more on the subtle/quiet side of social pressure, one might not quickly notice that the motivation for some of their actions is what they see on social media.

Both from those who truly possess what they flaunt or those hiding under a ‘social facade’, the pressure from social media is real.

For example, seeing someone flaunting what you greatly desire (and maybe you are already working at getting), even though they might not necessarily show it to stir up jealousy in you, you might be pressured to want to get it immediately and discontinue the process you were already going through. The pressure to get therefore becomes the hindrance from getting.

If not handled well, the pressure from social media can be the greatest for many in this generation.

Over to the next type of social pressure

3. Peer pressure

This type of social pressure is more in between: it is noticeable, sometimes forced, but mostly unforced, and still very strong. Peer pressure has received the most attention among the different types of social pressure since it is the most studied in trying to help kids make the most out of their life.

However, peer pressure is not limited to children/teens alone. Every single person experiences some form of peer pressure or can experience peer pressure.

Peer pressure simply means the seemingly forced influence that comes from your peers— people you hang out with, colleagues, companions, neighbors— to do or become something you wouldn’t have done or become on your own.

Considering this definition, it is obvious that peer pressure or social pressure, in general, can spur you to become a better person if the pressure from society is pressure for growth.

Not all social pressure is peer pressure but all peer pressure is social pressure. Social pressure is a subset of peer pressure.

Over to the next type of social pressure

4. Intimidation

Intimidation is the strongest type of social pressure; it is very outspoken and confrontational. It manifests in people outrightly telling you or enforcing what they want on you.

From parents insisting on the marital choice of their children, to employers dictating the social life of employees, and members of the higher social class oppressing those of the lower social class, intimidation is seen in every area of human life.

Mostly, people suffering from intimidation are in a disadvantaged positions that they do not have enough resources, power, or leverage to fight back or resist. Intimidation is the most brutal form of social pressure and can only be overcome with some sort of revolt.

Ironically, intimidation although it is the strongest form of social pressure, is the easiest to overcome because the victim can easily get tired of it and fight back. Intimidation stops once confrontation takes place.

Other forms of social pressure because they are more subtle, are difficult to fight, either because they are not easily noticed as social pressure or because it is not clear enough so there’s nothing to fight.

That’s the 4 types of social pressure

Sources of Social Pressure

Below are some of the major sources where social pressure can come from. Basically, anywhere there is interaction between two or more people (social environment) can be a source of social pressure.

1. Immediate environment

2. Family

3. Friends

4. Colleagues

5. Social media

6. All forms of media

7. School

8. Workplaces

9. Churches and religious organizations

10. All social gatherings

Examples of Social Pressure

Below are few examples of social pressure that are common in today’s society:

1. The social pressure to be slim/thin

2. The social pressure to look/dress in certain ways

3. The social pressure to make money online

4. The social pressure to post on social media

5. The social pressure to leave the 9-5 or to stay in it depending on your circles

6. The social pressure to have certain brands of tech gadgets

7. The social pressure to be in relationships or get married

8. The social pressure to be trendy

9. The social pressure to choose certain career paths

10. The social pressure to like, listen to or follow certain celebrities/coaches

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