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Social Stratification, Race, and Gender - Essay Example

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While the observation of social behavior in an elevator is not a difficult proposition, considering that I had to ride the elevator several times in several buildings over the course of the last week and stand in the back of the elevator to make sure no one discovered that I was…
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Social Stratification, Race, and Gender
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Download file to see previous pages For instance, I observed a couple laughing heartily when the elevator door opened but as soon as they go into the elevator the stopped laughing. Additionally, contrary to my earlier expectations, the female was standing quite close to the male which to me indicated a degree of comfort and intimacy. However, as soon as they got to the first floor (where they stepped off the elevator) they were laughing loudly again.
This sudden break in laughter was one observed point which clarified to me that as soon as individuals get into an elevator their behavior changes in obvious ways. A second observation supports this idea since I was waiting for the elevator with a man who was listening to music through his MP3 player. As we were waiting I could observe him bobbin his head and tapping his feet (I presume it was done in time with the music) but as soon as the elevator doors opened he stopped his ‘dance’. In fact, while he and I were taking the elevator to go down, he did not resume dancing. I could not be sure of when he did resume the activity since he and I went our separate ways.
Another thing which I observed was the way people deal with their appendages in an elevator. If a person is leaning against one of the walls of the elevator their legs would normally be crossed but only if the elevator is relatively empty. On the other hand, in a crowded elevator everyone stands up straight. Of course there is no rule for or against leaning with the wall but it is clear that the social norms which recommend that we make room for others are applicable in this case.
Finally, I think there might be a gender difference in how people behave in elevators since I saw quite a few women fold their arms while taking an elevator ride. On the other hand, I frequently spotted men with their hands in their pockets as the elevator went up or down. I am not sure if ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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