con·form·i·ty –noun, plural -ties. 1. action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices, etc. 2. correspondence in form, nature, or character; agreement, congruity, or accordance. 3. compliance or acquiescence; obedience. 

non·con·form·i·ty  –noun 1. failure or refusal to conform, as with established customs, attitudes, or ideas. 2. lack of conformity or agreement. 3. ( often initial capital letter ) refusal to conform to the Church of England.

 The Transcendentalists, especially Henry David Thoreau, appalled conforming to society merely for the purpose of "fitting in". They advocated that society corrupted a persons inner goodwill. They believed that by remaining outside of society's influences a person could transcend the evils society tempted them with and achieve true peace. In his essay Civil Disobedience, Thoreau supported violating the laws set forth by the government if one felt that they were harmful. Thoreau practiced as he preached and refused to submit to the concept that slavery was morally acceptable. He attempted to enlighten others and bring them over to his side. He was shunned by many for his radical ideas. however, he ignored the protests and stood up for what he believed in. 
The definition of non-conformity is considered a failure to conform. However, Thoreau saw it not as a failure, but as a success;  a successful method of exercising ones intrinsic right to defend his beliefs.  "A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority."-Henry David Thoreau.

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind."-Emerson, Self-Reliance

"Society is a joint stock company in which members agree for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."-Emerson, Self-Reliance