Violating the Norm

Topics: Shopping mall, Female, African American Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: October 30, 2013

Violating the Norm- Sitting with Strangers

South University

What happens when someone invades your personal space? Especially when this person is someone you’ve never met or seen before? Does it matter if this person is black, white, male, female, young or old? We’ll I’m going to try an experiment on a few unsuspecting people sitting and enjoying their afternoon in the food court at the mall; to see what and how they react to me sitting next to or across from them.

In today’s day and age, it seems as if everyone is wound up and protective of their private space. With all the crazy things and people in the world you really have to be on alert. This may be the reason most people don’t even speak a simple “hello” to strangers that pass by. Everyone has a certain way of doing things or a way that they believe things should be done. You know, the “Norm”.

“Cultural Norm” is known as an acceptable behavior, beliefs, and expectation in society. For an example, if you go into a grocery store you would expect to see a woman wearing women’s clothing and a man wearing men’s clothing. But if you walked in and saw a man wearing a dress, you may be taken back for a moment. This deviance is what we recognize as a violation of cultural norm. Something that is out of the norm, not expected, unwanted, or even seen as breaking the rules of life.

With all this being said I will attempt to deviate the norm (Folkway violations) by sitting with perfect strangers in a public food court at the mall. No state laws will be broken but will people welcome this violation of the unspoken law of private space? I will attempt this experiment on at least 4 people, two people(s) with a white polo shirt and two with a black shirt, black baseball cap, and sunglasses. Question to ask, will this violation be accepted? Will this violation be soothed by color? With white being of purity/innocence and black being seen as negative/ mischievous, will this also play a role? Well...

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