Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

20 Aug 2008, 9:56 a.m.

Time To Reread Aronson

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2008 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I dreamt this sociology principle and wonder whether I'd read it somewhere before:

The urge to conform to the behavior of others in your group and the merging of your sense of self with the mission of the group are orthogonal. Those whose identities include group membership or mission, yet who don't fear the penalties for superficial nonconformity, turn into gadflies.