As in the case of the internal locus of control, I will sketch out some of the factors contributing to that sense of community and push toward conformity that does exist in contemporary Western societies. I will then relate these factors to an external locus of control and Joe Luft’s Quad One. Paralleling my analysis of individualism, I can identify both proximal (recent) and distal (more dated) factors that contribute to Western community and conformity.
In recent years, we observe a longing for community—and attendant willingness, at times, to conform in response to the distress associated with the “troubling ambiguity” and lingering alienation of our postmodern condition. We yearn to return to a seemingly simpler world. In the grip of this nostalgia, we create or enter “life style enclaves” and embrace clothing, manners and values are embraced by a specific cluster of people. While distinguishing ourselves as Goths, Microsoft or Wal-Mart employees, or members of a Senior Citizen’s Travel Club we are simultaneously presenting our individual identifies (differing in appearance and behavior from most other members of society) and our collective identity (as a conforming member of a distinctive, bounded group). Some social critics would declare that these enclaves have increased fragmentation of society and (through special interest lobbies) made governance more difficult (not just red and blue states, but also green, pink, yellow, orange, heliotrope, mauve, and brown enclaves).