Conformity and the Self


Sinclair Lewis' novel Babbitt focuses on the problem of conformity--or at least it seems to. Lewis' characters, with few exceptions, cannot imagine acting in any way out of step with their neighbors. The end seems to leave little hope for escaping conformity.

Most people still recognize modern America--and their own lives--in Babbitt. What's harder to get at is what makes this such a conformist society. These two websites explore the ways commercial culture constructs identity. This site builds communities of consumer preference. It asks you to rank music and film in order to present you with lists of products you will like. After registering, try exploring Bignote and Filmfinder

The Demographic Detective web site samples comsumer tastes and behaviors and constructs communities--what we might even call sub-nations