So far in my work, I have kept a broad view of different social pressures when it has come to my photos, as I wanted to see if there was different ways of presenting them. However as I have moved on I have discovered that by going off on this approach, my pictures haven’t been able to delve deeper into the pictures due to being so vague, hence causing them to be very utilitarian.
But as each picture can lead off onto so many avenues, it is hard to choose one. So to try to make it easier, let’s think about the subjects that would be involved in the pictures. Is it going to be a documentary about myself (which all of my current pictures have been) or is it going to be generalised? Usually, social pressure is more common in teenagers, but still affects adults. But I found it interesting that I found an article from the Telegraph online that talked about how adults were more likely to avoid social pressure (in this case it was drinking).
One of the pieces of information I found very interesting was a quote from Prof Dame Sally Macintyre, director of the MRC’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, in which she said “…drinking in young adults often leads to visible disruption in our towns and cities, older adults tend to drink behind closed doors where their behaviour is hidden from society.” I put into bold the info that was possibly vital information, in general and for my pictures.
So maybe it would be best to stick to people around my age, as not only is it something I can relate too and have more knowledge about, but also for the fact that anything goes as well in our culture.
And the two pressures, which I think, really stand out for teenagers/young adults is smoking and drinking. Even though smoking was something not heavily chosen in my survey, I still feel that it is a social pressure that has to be addressed. Investopedia talks about how smoking is still somehow popular, even with the amount of warnings that come with it. Yet what I found interesting from them is when they said “Smoking is a tough habit to kick, so many of these teens will likely smoke for many years to come. Peer pressure, with regard to smoking, can also have a reciprocal effect, as many people also quit as a result of peer pressure.” This reiterates the idea that sometimes there is positive outcomes from pressure, which leads into the idea of choice. Which choice is the best for that person?
Likewise, drinking is highly praised among young adults; the thrill and drinking and going out is not too be missed. And things such as drinking games, shots, forfeits etc as ways to get people to drink do the best way for this. Even those that don’t get involved tend to be part of these games because not only is it fun (sometimes) but because they want to be part of the crowd.
So thinking about it, if I was to look at both and think which one would be the best to go on with, I would have to say it would the drinking. It’s the most common social pressure out there, as show in my blog, but one that offers a variety of things as well. With smoking, if someone offers you a cigarette and you say no, that’s the end of the story. Whereas with drinking, people can be more forceful and sneaky with what they do.
But I can also work with the notion “ Are you in harmony or in conflict within the social structure that you are a part of?” as well. The harmony could be the idea of drinking games, where the conflict could be the idea of being forced to drink maybe.
So it looks like I have to do a bit more research into this sort of area before I can head off onto my pictures, but it certainly does seem more interesting now!
The Telegraph, Middle-aged drive to avoid peer pressure of drinking, Nick Collins December 12 2011; [Online] Available from < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8949241/Middle-aged-drive-to-avoid-peer-pressure-of-drinking.html>
Investopedia, 5 Things People Buy Because Of Peer Pressure, Janet Fowler November 07 2011; [Online] Available from <http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1111/5-things-people-buy-because-of-peer-pressure.aspx>