Breaking Social Norms Essay

530 words - 3 pages


Breaking Social Norms

Social Norms are unwritten rules about how to behave.  They provide us with an expected idea of how to behave in a particular social group or culture.  For example, we expect students to arrive to lesson on time and complete their work.
The idea of norms provides a key to understanding social influence in general and conformity in particular. Social norms are the accepted standards of behavior of social groups.  These groups range from friendships to even work groups. There are norms defining appropriate behavior for every social group. For example, students, neighbors and patients in a hospital are all aware of the norms governing behavior, and as the individual moves from one ...view middle of the document...

There is always an awkward tension between people in an elevator because the people are only in there so they can get to their own destination. Also, no one ever cares to start a conversation because the elevator ride is only a few seconds. So for my experiment, I decided to test how people would react if I actually stood the wrong way.
I wanted to do this experiment where there was a lot of people riding elevators throughout the day. I thought a great place would be a hospital, so I decided to go to Regional Hospital of Scranton. I was really nervous beforehand because breaking a social norm can be awkward and embarrassing. I actually ended up riding the elevator facing the wrong way for about fifteen to twenty minutes. A lot of people came in and as soon as they entered, I could feel them staring at me and feel the tension rise. A few people started to laugh as well when they walked in. Also, one doctor asked if I was ok and needed help, but I assured him I was fine. Everyone had the same reaction I thought they would have while I stood the wrong way. It felt really weird and uncomfortable breaking the norm, but it was funny to see how people would react to it.
For this experiment, it definitely made me realize how strong and powerful social norms are when it comes to society. Norms definitely provide order in the world. It is difficult to see how human society could operate without social norms. Human beings need norms to guide and direct their behavior, to provide order and predictability in social relationships, and to make sense of and understanding of each other’s actions. These are some of the reasons why most people, most of the time, conform to social norms.

Other Essays Like Breaking social norms

Perspectives Of Sociology Essay

2089 words - 9 pages , Perspectives, and Goals. ƒÜ     Values- They is culturally defined standards. They define what is right, wrong, good, and bad. Desirability, goodness, beauty and undesirability are judged by a culture's values. Guidelines for social living are established by values. Social values and general beliefs are reflected in the norms of a society. ƒÜ     Norms- Norms are the rules and expectations we develop

Sociological Causes of Crime Essay

538 words - 3 pages rates to social disorganization or social strain. According to social disorganization theory, poverty, widespread family dysfunction, poor quality education and high rates of unemployment all conspire to lead members of society towards criminal behavior. A disorganized society cannot adequately equip its members with the tools required for behavior which conforms to socially acceptable norms and standards and therefore members of such a society are

Personal Criminological Theory

766 words - 4 pages , individuals have the choice to either accept social norms or to reject them. This is different from the former mentioned theories (structural theories) that center on society's ability to impose its norms and value upon others without due consideration of their preferences. (Pearce, 2003) There are many more theories that can push a person to committing a crime. All people are different; we have different values and looks on life. Throwing in the

Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

638 words - 3 pages desire outweighs reason, decency and good sense, with ?their passions stronger than their virtue.? Lydia?s infatuation with the ?uniform? and desire for social standing, and Wickham?s desire for financial inducements leads them to marry for entirely wrong reasons. By stepping outside the social norms of her society, Lydia makes herself vulnerable to ostracism, and by breaking the rules of society (that Austen herself supports), their

Defining Abnormality

1483 words - 6 pages relativism can be assessed properly. Forth criticism This definition doesn’t take into account the impact another persons behaviour can have on others. 1) Explain deviation from social norms as a means of defining abnormality A person’s behaviour can be labeled as abnormal if the person has violated socially acceptable standards and appears to be deviating from the social norms. This can be a violation of society’s implicit or explicit

Outline and Explain the Meaning of the Term Deviancy

1069 words - 5 pages or guilty of breaking social laws but they have a ‘spoilt identity’ or a deeply dis-credible characteristic, which presents full social participation. A stigma is the characteristic or defect and the impaired social reactions that others have to it. Erving Goffman (1963) developed the three forms of stigma; the first is a defect of the body (scar), defect of the character (mental health issues) and the defect in which relate to membership of an

assess sociological explanations of gender differences in the patterns of crime

628 words - 3 pages , for example to be housewives). Therefore this shows women are not given more leniencies and are actually punished (i.e. given custodial sentencing) if they break from their social norms that is expected from them. As we have looked at the gender differences and the reason for it, now we must examine why women are less likely to commit crimes than men. There are many reason for why women commit less crime, for example functionalist Parson stated

Biological and Social Deviance

2286 words - 10 pages Deviance in general is seen as violating social norms. Numerous researchers and individuals such as Robert Merton (1938) and William Sheldon (1949) have tried to present ways to explain deviant behaviours in the past. The two main theories that have been developed to explain deviance are biological theories and the social constructionist theories. This essay will examine social theories such as Becker’s labelling theory, and biological theories


2008 words - 9 pages sure I would run into some serious physical altercations and the police being involved. I do not believe that breaking in line will ever be anything that will eventually become the norm. The experiment shed light on social norms, and in an essence that if you don’t conform to the norms you are deviant. The names that I was called confirmed that if you go against societies norms you will be labeled deviant. I was called mentally retarded, the

Conformity and Rebellion

1234 words - 5 pages Conformity and Rebellion: Justifying When to Break or Follow Societal Norms As demonstrated in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, there are different circumstances that determine when one is justified in rebelling against or conforming with society. One is justified to rebel against societal laws if a law is unmerited, and it is only

Explanations of Crime

2041 words - 9 pages Explanations of Crime Functionalists like Emile Durkheim view society as a system of highly unified groups or parts that operate in harmony with each other. Durkheim believed that there was a consensus over societies’ norms and values resulting in social order. He saw crime as normal in terms of its existence, and even as having positive social functions in terms of its consequences. Crime was normal and no society could enforce total

Related Papers

Group Influence Essay

1604 words - 7 pages to take notes. It was also noticeable that the senior member of the group served as an informal leader and mentor to new members. All members appeared to look up to her. The fact that she has been with the company over thirty years, could influence other members to conform to her way of thinking. Norm Formation The specific application of what is now identified as the social norms theory was first suggested by Perkins and Berkowitz in

Essay Title: Deviance Is Defined Within A Cultural Context. Discuss

917 words - 4 pages what was wrong with the deviant.Both these perspectives were highly criticised by sociologists because they claimed that these views do not take into consideration the cultural factors and are not convincing in their claims. Many sociologists regarded deviants as different but felt that physiologist's and psychologist's explanations were inadequate, because when you are a deviant, you are breaking social laws, which meant that crime is a social

City Demographics And Crime Profile Of Chicago

685 words - 3 pages receptors of learning by example. Neighborhood culture influences the type of people who live in the area. High crime areas have a higher rate of drop outs and dysfunctional families leading to juvenile crime. Social norms have created the idea in young minds that what they are living in is the way to life. Breaking the cycle is very tough when one willingly lives in an area that is prone to chaos. The racial population in high crime rated

Essentialist Paradigm Essay

1610 words - 7 pages is not. Those who have the power over such decisions can be classified as Moral Entrepreneurs, They strongly believe that their set of norms is the “right” way to live, their foundation is built on the belief that deviance lies within the individual, and therefore if you want to understand the deviance you must first seek out the problem within the individual and then treat them to get rid of deviance. Those who lack power and social standing