A controversial study was published in 1963 called the Milgram Experiment. It involved the willingness of participants to violate their moral code when prompted by an authoritative source. Eerily similar to the Nazi party, it’s conclusion was that yes, people will do whatever they are told to do by those with perceived power.
I believe the same social mechanism may lead people to follow the “authoritative crowd.” In other words, people tend to participate in entertainment, style choices, and even politics based on what the majority of their local AND international peers are participating in. That is wonderful if those activities are healthy and uplifting, but what if they are destructive like gang culture is?
We are a culture that prides itself on individualism, yet we are seeing plenty of “groupthink” that is similar to that in George Orwell’s novel titled 1984. Ironically, rather than the government imposing thoughts upon us, we are doing it to each other.