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Breaking Social Norms - Essay Example

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This is the "Breaking Social Norms" essay. Societal behavioral tendencies are dictated by numerous factors that are distinct to every region. …
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Download file to see previous pages Such society guidelines dictate how individuals ought to behave, telling them what is acceptable and what is not. In my breaking social norms essay, I have decided to violate the folkway social norm. What does folkway mean? What rules apply in your situation? Of course, you live with a family, which can be small or extended. And in your small group, there are transparent rules that you have learned to abide by overtime. They are not written anywhere, but everyone knows what to do and what not to do. Folkway follows the same concept. These are informal rules that are utilized to govern a society. They are different from formal written rules, which are quite common in the modern community. Even though folkways are not considered as important as written rules, they are essential in making life possible. They apply in everyday life. Choosing the Best Location for Displaying Social Norms It is common decency for people to shake hands when they meet. Other cultures might have their way of greeting one another like bowing or kissing – it all depends on what individuals are used to in the area. In my assignment, I chose to shake people’s hands at the mall where there is massive traffic. I shook people’s hands randomly as they walked in and out of the mall. What happened was an expression of how societal standards are deeply enshrined in our culture. First, you have to be aware that community norms are preferences and do not demand to result in sanctions. So, regardless of informal positive or informal negative, the sanctions might be an affirmative gesture of brushing off the look. In this writing, we will analyze people’s reactions when a stranger greets them. Additionally, we will check out the response of such interaction. Is it positive or negative? I preferred South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa as the ideal experimentation spot considering the mall’s unique attribute.
  • Here, there is a concierge that will inspect your bags when you are exhausted
  • Even better, the mall has personal shoppers ready to assist every client access the services they require
  • If you have a sophisticated automobile, you can get it serviced while enjoying your shopping or mall exploration
  • The mall has all the biggest brands in America under one roof, which means the cultural diversity is impressive.
Considering all the above factors, I found South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa, the perfect testing point for social norms. Prepping the Location for Testing Social Norms I had to arrive at the location on time (10:00 am) to make the best of the available time. It was on September 30th. I noticed that most of the mall’s population were women in their early twenties and those in their sixties. As I stood, individuals walking in and out of the mall were noticing my presence and feeling a bit strange. However, considering I am a lady, I reasoned that they would not feel harassed by my random hand gesture. I decided to make my first interaction and offer my hand to a Persian woman that had pulled out of a white escalade. I did not know whether I would receive a positive or negative reaction from extending my hand. The woman inquired if I was part of the mall’s staff and whether I would show her to the concierge desk. Unfortunately, I received a negative reaction from my hand gesture – she did not welcome it. Of course, I did not insist and immediately removed my arm and showed her to the concierge desk. Out of the first interaction trying to break this societal norm, there was an adverse informal sanction whereby the lady ignored my hand gesture. I tried a second time with a Hispanic woman with a 5-year-old son. The reaction was the same as she pretended to have all her hands tied up and even prevented her jovial son from greeting me. That was an adverse informal sanction. The ignorance I received from the first two individuals that I approached made me feel ridiculed and rejected. This was a perfect depiction of a negative, informal sanction. Luckily, I was later greeted by an elderly Caucasian woman that accepted my hand gesture. She even scolded her granddaughter for not taking my greeting. We then talked about traditions and how society has massively changed to individuals being less polite. She stated that individuals today are carried away by numerous activities and forget about being polite. What I Learned from My Experiences Apart from the first negative interactions, breaking societal norms ended in positive formal sanctions. The lady who I successfully interacted with gave me a slight smile and commended my actions. As I continued with my experiment, I met numerous people; some shook my hand while others pretended not to see my hand gesture and looked the other way. So, what guides these individuals to shun my random greetings? Everything individuals do in life is informed by certain rules, which we learn as we grow. And the most basic starting point of learning these rules is from our households. Remember that every family abides by certain rules that can be influenced by religion or even the environment. Regardless of how different homes run, one of the most consistent things is norms. These are behavioral patterns established by a community, and they are vital because they maintain community order. In every society, even though there is the ceremonial law, they are not sufficient in maintaining a proper order. Types of Society Norms and Sanctions There are two types of societal standards, and they are normal formal and informal. Laws that govern a society, and many other written rules are conventional standards. However, informal norms are not written down rules, but what has a mutual agreement among every person in society. Norms, although mostly informal, can be very crucial than the laws that govern a society. For instance, what elements do you utilize to distinguish a person’s looks? Is it not the color of their skin or the clothes they are wearing? Whatever perceptions you create from outwards appearance is going to determine the approach you have towards the person. On the other hand, societal control is a way for society to control positive or adverse sanctions. Whatever affirmative reaction you get when you abide by standards is an affirmative sanction. The vice versa is also true. A positive sanction can arise from someone attempting to break norms in the community for the greater good. The adverse aspect is a complete opposite of what an affirmative sanction represents. You will notice that in the society created by Vonnegut in “Play Piano?” there are numerous examples of adverse and positive sanctions. The aptitude test perfectly depicts this that the entire society takes. If you fail the aptitude test, you will have to live your whole life in the Army or the Reeks and Wrecks.     ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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