Breaking a Social Norm: Dressing in female clothes discussion

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For Reflective Project #1, you may choose one of the following two options. Please ensure that your paper is around 3 pages, double-spaced, with a heading (your name, course info, etc.) and a creative title. Remember that you must utilize ideas and concepts from the textbook, class lectures and discussions to illustrate your point, so the prompt that you choose to write about must reference any of those corresponding chapters, lectures, discussions, and/or activities. Lastly, factors such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar certainly count towards your reflection paper grade, so be sure to edit your paper beforehand.

Below are the two prompts that you may choose (one) to write about:

1) Break a social norm of dress/attire (be sure not to wear anything illegal, dangerous, or extremely disruptive). Here are some ideas: try dressing in female clothes if you are a male; wear formal attire to a casual get together; wear clothing that is too warm/too cold for the weather; wear stripes with polka dots, wear an unstylish or outdated outfit, etc. Then, interact with others and observe their responses while wearing your norm-breaking outfit. If you would like to break a different type of norm (not one of dress or attire), then please check out the file attached to this post for other options: Breaking a Social Norm Options.pdf

In your paper, address the following:

-State the Problem: define the norm you will violate, discuss briefly how this norm acts as a machanism of social control, and describe what you will do to violate the norm.

-Hypothesis: describe the range of possible reactions others will have to the violation of this norm, what do you predict the major reaction will be?

-Describe the Setting: physical-where is the norm violation taking place? Social-how many and what types of people are observing?

-Describe the Incident: tell what happened.

-Summary and Interpretation: how did you feel as you were violating the norm? Why did you feel the way you did? Did people react the way you expected? Did you encounter any difficulties in carrying out your assignment? What, if anything, did you learn about how norms exercise social control?


2) Use Census data to analyze your neighborhood. You will need to access this site:

Here are the instructions for how to navigate the site:

You will see a section titled “Community Facts” in red, with a box underneath it. Type in your city or zip code and click “Go.”

Once the page loads, you will see several links to tables that display the information about the population of your specific city or zip code. Click on these tables and look at the data that is presented to you. What is your reaction to it? Are you surprised by it at all?

Then, focus on the links that are listed on the left hand side, after “Population,” which you just looked through. Click through all 10 of them (“Age” through “Veterans”) and pay special attention to the “Business and Industry,” “Income,” and “Poverty” tabs, which are what your paper will focus on. Examine these three variables particularly closely, and write a description (about a short paragraph) for each of the three variables, that synthesize the information you found in your tables. Each description should include what your findings are, why you think they are this way for your area, and whether or not you were surprised by your findings.

Now repeat these steps again, with one exception. Instead of entering your city name or zip code, enter “90210,” which is the zip code for Beverly Hills (specifically near their City Hall on Rexford Drive).

Write three more descriptions on the variables of “Business and Industry,” “Income,” and “Poverty” tabs, comparing your “Population” census information, to that of Beverly Hills. Is your area similar to or different from Beverly Hills? Why do you think this is? Was there anything that surprised you in the Beverly Hills data?

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