Rugged Individualism Rugged individualism is the quintessentially American view that we are responsible for our own lives and ultimately must rely only on ourselves. People who ignore society’s wishes and do as they choose are rugged individuals. These people make their own way in the world at the risk of being ostracized by the rest of society. Example: Many American movie heroes are individuals who disdain authority and flout tradition. John Wayne’s characters often fit this mold, as do other film heroes such as Bruce Willis’s character John McClane in Die Hard and Clint Eastwood’s “man without a name” in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Conformity The opposite of individualism is conformism, a term used to describe the act of people trying to be the same. Over the centuries, many observers have noted that even in democracies, conformism is common. Americans, for example, frequently watch the same shows on television and read the same books. This seems to conflict with the
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