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Day 36 – Q 2.Examine the ways in which social influence transforms the attitude of an individual/ group.

2. Examine the ways in which social influence transforms the attitude of an individual/ group. 

उन तरीकों की जांच करें जिनमें सामाजिक प्रभाव किसी व्यक्ति / समूह के दृष्टिकोण को बदल देता है।


Attitude is what an individual or a group think or feel about something which decides one’s behavior towards a situation/an individual. Social influence refers to the way in which individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. The social interaction influences the attitude of an individual/group and thus a major determinant of the behavior.


Social Influence transforming the attitude of an individual:

  • Family: The social interaction within a family shapes the attitude of an individual.  E.g. 
    • Abdul Kalam says, his father was holding discussions with all the religion’s people in his home. This shaped Kalam’s attitude towards secularism. 
    • In some cases where the family is patriarchal, the child may develop an attitude of stereotyping the role of men and women.
  • Society: The social approval/disapproval transforms an individual attitude. E.g.
    • The social disapproval of open defecation changing the attitude of individuals towards it.
    • Unfortunately, in some cases, it can be negative. Social approval on Bribery develops an attitude as if it is okay in a government official.

As French and Raven argues, the norms and roles expected via social interactions acts as agents of change on one’s attitude. It changes one’s way of thinking, feeling and behaving that are shared among others in a social group. When a social group has well recognized norms, there is a huge pressure for people to maintain such norm.

Social Influence transforming the attitude of a group:

Similarly, on a group, social influence shapes/transforms its attitude. E.g. the apathy or the approval shown by the society on Mob lynching is a main reason for them to have an attitude of ‘Chalta hai’ and hence perpetuating it.

The more aware citizens with increasing literacy and general knowledge is changing the attitude of government departments including police who are changing their ways of working to be more accommodative. E.g. citizen vigilance apps, proactive participation and discipline of Ralegan siddhi village has influencing the attitude of district administration seeing them as partners in development etc.,

In the same way, social disapproval of Khap panchayats in several villages of Haryana has led to the Khap panchayats changing their attitude towards dealing with problems be it be on love marriage or property conflicts or untouchability etc.,

Herbert Kelman has identified 3 ways of social influencing transforming attitude:

  • Compliance: Influence being temporary only to comply with the norms or rule with or without actually believing in it. E.g. following traffic rules etc.,
  • Identification: when an individual/group is influenced by an event or a personality and try to conform oneself/itself to that ideology. E.g. A political party with communist ideology etc.,
  • Internalization: It occurs when an individual or a group not only align their attitude as per the social influence but also believe in it as it matched their value system. E.g. Anna Hazare following Mahatma Gandhi and his ideas, Ashrams following ideas of certain Gurus (E.g. Basaveshwara) etc.,


Social influence can build a character or be a reason to destroy a society depending on the way and values it pursues. Thus, attitude of an individual or a group is built, shaped or transformed by various social interaction it goes through intentionally or unintentionally.

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