Reflection Paper: Social Norm Violation

Reflection Paper: Social Norm Violation
When we violate unwritten rules for appropriate social behavior, we quickly learn the power of social norms. The purpose of this assignment is to raise awareness of how these subtle norms shape everyday behavior and consequences of violating norms. This assignment requires the student to commit a norm violation and to note his/her own reaction and the reactions of others. Note that social norm violations must be committed in the presence of at least one other person, preferably unknown, where safely possible. After the social norm violation is committed and reactions are recorded, students are allowed (but not required) to tell the “audience” that the violation was done as a requirement for a sociology class assignment.
WARNING: This should not be used an opportunity to offend others or test the law. If I find your behavior is unwarranted you will receive a 0 on this paper and may be reported to the Dean of Students.
One inch margins (left, right, top and bottom), double spaced, 12 point font, at least 1 page Place your name and Section # on first line, then double space to begin writing.
FIRST, pick a social norm violation from the list below. Students can choose their own social norm violation as long as it has been approved by the professor BEFORE it is committed. Then, pick your audience and location (you MUST perform this activity off-campus and by yourself- without a friend present).
• Staring at people for 1-2 minutes (or until they notice) (someone of similar stature to you) • Sing and dance to music in your headphones in public • Make a large purchase with pennies (no more than $2.00) • Wear your clothes backwards to a public place (something obvious) • Stand right next to someone if they are the only person in the elevator (someone of similar stature) • Go to a parent’s house and ask their permission to do everything (get a drink, use the bathroom, etc) • Have an animated conversation with yourself in public • Jump up and down while waiting in the check-out line at the grocery store
SECOND, answer the following questions in paragraph format. No introduction or conclusion paragraphs are necessary.
Paragraph 1 Describe the social norm violation. What did you do? Where? To whom? Paragraph 2 How did you feel about violating this social norm? Why do you think you
felt this way? Paragraph 3 Describe the reactions of others that were present for the norm violation,
including facial expression, what they said, and their body language. What do you think they thought about you after the violation (and before you told them that this was a class assignment)?
Paragraph 4 What did this assignment teach you about the experiences of those who do not fit in because they are either new to the culture or are noticeably handicapped in some way?
THIRD, no credit will be received if sent via email or hard copy. Points will be taken off for poorly written work. Late submission will not be accepted.
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