Social interaction proceeds fluidly in everyday life because people have shared definitions of and expectations about routine situations. As we go about our day, we generally assume that people are going to behave a certain way and observe certain norms. When they don’t, we may sometimes know how to respond, because we have seen that kind of violation before. For example, if someone cuts in front of us in line, we probably already know how we would react to that breach of common courtesy.
But other norms are so ingrained and automatic that we can hardly imagine anyone breaking them. Because we have never been confronted with the behavior, we have no pre-set idea of how to react when someone fails to behave “normally.” For instance, if you were sitting in a near-empty movie theater and a stranger suddenly sat down directly beside you, how would you react? Chances are, you have no idea because it’s just not something people do.
This assignment calls for you to breach a social norm, either by doing something one is not supposed to do OR by not doing something that is considered standard behavior in that particular situation. Examples include eating without utensils, crowding into someone’s personal space, and facing the wrong way in an elevator.
1) In your paper, under the subheading of Method: Include a 1 paragraph overview explaining what you did and how you did it. Explain which norm you violated—i.e., what is normally done vs. what you did differently.
2) Under the subheading of Findings: Include a 1-page analysis that includes:
· Your personal feelings: how did you feel before engaging in your norm violation, during it, and afterward?
· Other people’s reactions during the violation. Did anything unusual or substantial happen because of the norm violation? How did you know what people were thinking and feeling about the violation? Were there any notable patterns that arose in people’s reactions?
3) Under the subheading of Discussion: Include a 3 page analysis in which you reflect on your findings. Using the course concepts and ideas discussed and read thus far, how can you understand and interpret the interactions of others? How can you understand your own experience/feelings about norm breaching? In this discussion, you must:
· Clearly apply at least 3 relevant sociological concepts/theories from our course materials/readings to the deviant behavior you analyzed in this experiment.
· Clearly apply findings from at least 5 meaningful up-to-date resources, 3 of which are from reputable academic journals, to the deviant behavior you analyzed in this experiment.