What Is the Individual Vs. Society?

Conflict between an individual and their society is referred to as “individual vs. society.” Conflicts in a literary work are frequently described using this phrase. It can also be used to describe instances in which a maverick feels constrained by society and wishes to rebel against cultural norms in real-world contexts.

The expression alludes to the tension or drama that arises when a person decides they do not want to live within the boundaries of their culture or society in both literary and informal usage. For instance, if a person desires to be a nudist but their culture expects them to wear clothing, they may feel uncomfortable in social situations or angry with society.

Conflicts between individuals and society can occur internally, but they can also take the form of actual events. The aforementioned person, for instance, may stroll through town in his underwear, and the police, acting as representatives of society, could detain him. However, if the fight persisted, the person might gather allies and ultimately alter the social climate.

The contradiction between the individual and society can be seen as a philosophical dualism, or two opposing concepts. But one need not pit the two concepts against one another because humans are by nature both solitary and social. Instead, it is possible to balance them.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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