could you tell me the meaning of this. The text is about people who decided to live in the streets.
'... and instead of striving to conform to a norm or compete for position.'
For many societies, "the norm" (or a normal way of life) is considered working a regular job, living in a nice home, owning a car, and wearing new clothes. This lifestyle can become competitive, whether it means working more and more hours in order to get a promotion, or buying more things than you can afford in order to compete with your neighbors.
There are some people who deliberately decide to forego all this and simply live on the streets, even though it means not knowing where their next meal will come from or where they will sleep at night.