What Are Examples of a Non-Conformist?

Some examples of non-conformists include Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, members of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and high school subcultures such as punk or goth. A non-conformist is anyone who does not comply with normal societal standards of behavior.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is one of the most well-known examples of non-conformity. King and other civil rights leaders went against social conventions by arguing that black Americans deserved the same rights as whites. By working against societal standards, the Civil Rights Movement actually changed those standards. Leaders of other social movements, such as suffragettes and feminists, are also historical examples of non-conformists.

A more modern example of non-conformity is the Occupy Wall Street movement. The movement began by protesting the power and influence of corporate interests on American politics and grew to encompass issues as diverse as immigration policy, mass incarceration and education reform. By moving against accepted social norms, the movement served to bring mainstream attention to issues of wealth distribution and social inequality in the United States.

On a smaller scale, high school cliques provide examples of non-conformity. Teens who choose to adopt outsider styles such as punk, goth or metal are often ostracized by their more conformist peers for refusing to conform to societal conventions.