Most Americans probably agree that we enjoy a great amount of freedom. And yet perhaps we have less freedom than we think, because many of our choices are influenced by our society in ways we do not even realize. Perhaps we are not as distinctively individualistic as we believe we are. For example, consider the right to vote. The secret ballot is one of the most cherished principles of American democracy. We vote in secret so that our choice of a candidate is made freely and without fear of punishment. That is all true, but it is also possible to guess the candidate for whom any one individual will vote if enough is known about the individual. This is because our choice of a candidate is affected by many aspects of our social backgrounds and, in this sense, is not made as freely as we might think.
Velmarie Albertini, Marcia Andrejevich
Velmarie Albertini, Marcia Andrejevich, “Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World,” Open Educational Resource (OER) , accessed March 4, 2021, http://oer.iain-padangsidimpuan.ac.id/items/show/2725.