• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why conformity and obedience are important in the British Army

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain why conformity and obedience are important in the British Army, giving reference to research studies. Authority can be defined as the power or right to give orders or make decisions. Authority maintains discipline, enforces rules and regulations, can come from one person or a group of people and can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used in. Officers in the British Army have the right to enforce obedience on others and their opinions are accepted not only because of this but because they are expected to have a better knowledge on the subject in question. Authority can, of course, be passed down through the ranks and when an officer in authority passes power onto another, usually a non-commissioned officer (NCO), then soldiers are expected to follow the commands given and to respect the chain of command. Compliance usually involves a request for a person to behave in a certain way, an act of compliance, although this doesn't have to be stated. In many occasions these actions are those which are in accordance with laws or rules and regulations. ...read more.

Middle

For example, the person who obeyed would probably say 'I was only carrying out orders' or because the people in authority often possess visible badges or signs of their superiority. These consist of special uniforms and titles. Having such obvious reminders of who is in charge, most people find it difficult not to obey. Of course blind obedience has its down sides, such as the events that occurred in Nazi Germany. If more people had questioned and challenged their policies many lives could have been saved. Of course, there was an elemental fear of the government in Nazi Germany at the time, which is a powerful method of instilling obedience but demanding conformity. During the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 Adolf Eichmann was a high ranking official in the Nazi Germany and worked for the Waffen SS (Hitler's political army). He was responsible for the transport and extermination of Jews in the holocaust. Consequential to the fact he played an active role in many of the atrocities committed, he became widely known as the 'chief executioner' of the Third Reich. Eichmann did not have any in-built racial hate. ...read more.

Conclusion

When deployed on operations soldiers are subject to international law, including the laws of armed conflict and the prescribed rules of engagement, and in some cases local civil law. Taken together, such laws establish the baseline for the standards of personal conduct expected of a soldier. The UK Government primarily uses two legislative frameworks: The Armed Forces Discipline Act 2004, The Army Act 2006. In 1914 the Defence of the Realm Act was passed which allowed the government to suppress published criticism, imprison without trial and commandeer economic resources for the war effort. However, in Peacetime the Army's role of administration of justice is limited to the prosecution of military personnel in criminal and military cases. Systems of accountability tell the government and the public when things are going wrong in a public service establishment in order that someone can address it's shortfalls. One consequence of a lack of authority such as the ill treatment of prisoners of war or a breach of International Human Rights could be the way that the media end up portraying it to the public, thus resulting in the service losing the public's trust, which can affect recruitment, communication links, fund raising and cooperation with other armed forces. While discipline is never fun to do, its neglect can have disastrous effects on military readiness and effectiveness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "Describe the main features of conformity and obedience analyse two conformity and obedience studies ...

    in the wrong this is how the experiment took place: The participants were given with an unmistakable task, a line judgement task. Participants were presented with two cards. One had on it a 'standard' line: on the other were three comparison lines.

  2. Conformity & Obedience to Authority.

    In the experiments, it was proved that people are less likely to conform when they are in private than in a room with others. � When they are not sure of something and the rest of the group is, they are more likely to conform as they do not want

  1. Critically Evaluate Research Into Conformity, Compliance and Obedience.

    study into conformity. Another early study into conformity was carried out by Sherif (1935) Sherif tested for conformity by using the autokinetic effect. It was discovered that when participants were tested individually their estimates on how far the light moved varied considerably.

  2. The Concepts Of Conformity And Obedience

    Each na�ve participant was placed towards the end of the row so that the majority of the confederates' responses were given first. Even though the correct answer would always be obvious, the na�ve participant was found to conform to the group response on 32% of the trials, and 74% of the na�ve subjects conformed at least once during the experiments.

  1. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders have been promoted as 'mixing the best of the civil and ...

    But the ultimate acid test for any legislative measure is, quite simply, does it fulfil its objectives? From its introduction on 1st April 1999 to 30th June 2004, the Home Office reports that 3,069 Orders have been granted in England and Wales, with a further 42 being refused3.

  2. Psychology Questions Ansewered

    Piliavin, Rodin and Piliavin (subway Samaritans) What do these studies tell us about social processes? What problems do psychologists have when they study social processes? " All psychology is social psychology." To what extent do you agree with this statement? The cognitive approach tries to give a full account of behaviour and experience in terms of the way we think and make judgements.

  1. service operations

    Specifically, we examined differences between Asians and Caucasians in their observations of individual behaviour. We believed that differences in cultural orientations would ultimately generate differences in judgment making. A brief review of the literature regarding key cultural differences between Caucasians and Asians is presented prior to the presentation of this study.

  2. Obedience & Conformity: The Situation In Abu Ghraib

    (Henry Gleitman et al, 2007) The situation in Abu Ghraib Abu Ghraib became an instant case study to all social psychologists when the story was first leaked. After the introduction of the code of ethics, obedience and conformity experiments became more harder to conduct.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work