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wear clothing that is too warm/too cold for the weather; wear stripes with polka dots, wear an unfashionable or outdated outfit, etc. Then, interact with others and observe their responses while wearing your norm-breaking outfit.
In your paper, address the following:
State the Problem: define the norm you will violate, discuss briefly how this norm acts as a mechanism 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?
- TheTextbook is attached you can use anything from chapter 1-6.
- Wear winter clothes on a hot dayWear something that’s considered “weird” Pay for something only with coinsAsk the employee at a fast food restaurant if you can serve your own friesGo to McDonald’s and play in the play area with another adult friendNote: this one requires you go with another adult friend. Do not go and play in the area by yourself–we don’t want to scare the kids or their parents.When someone asks you “How are you?,” don’t say “fine” or “good”Burp out loud at a restaurantGo to the gym and use the equipment in your regular day clothes (i.e., not in gym clothes)Go to the gym when it is pretty empty and not all the treadmills are being used. When someone goes on one of the treadmills, ask them how long they’re going to be because you want to use that treadmill (meanwhile, there are other treadmills not being used)Talk to strangers on an elevatorStand very close to a stranger on the elevator as you look at your phoneNote: do not stare at the other person. Also, remember who you are & who they are in this process–you don’t want to unnecessarily intimidate someone.At the checkout in line at the store, move one or some of the items of the person behind you onto your side of the divider.Note: as with all the others, be careful and stop the experiment immediately if the person gets upset.When a lot of people are standing on an escalator, start walking and asking people to move out your way.At a drive-thru, order a meal without any drinks but ask for a cup holderHug a friend you don’t usually hug when you greet themNote: again, remember who you & who the other person is. It may be safer to do this with someone who is of the same gender.Go for a run at a popular park/trail, but run on the incorrect side of the road (as always, stop this experiment if people get visibly angry). Ask family members to not wear the same shoes inside and outside the house.Sit at the same table as a stranger in the Student CenterNote: you should not stare at them. Just sit there and do your work. Also, as I stated in class, be aware of “who you are”– that is, your potential influence on others–in deciding which table to sit at. Start picking your nose while talking with someone.Go to a restaurant, order your food, and then pull out your own silverware, napkins, etc.Lick a plate at a restaurant.Go to the beach in jeans and then go in the water. Speak very loudly at a restaurantNote: don’t keep this up too long if/when it starts to really bother others.Stand backwards on the escalatorEat at a sit-down restaurant but eat standing upGo to a fast-food restaurant and order something not on the menu (ex: order a Whopper at McDonald’s)The following should be done with caution and, with all the others, stopped immediately if anyone becomes visibly upset. Also, this applies to men who use the men’s restroom: go into the restroom to use the urinal, and say “What a day” to another stranger in the bathroom.
- here are more social norms you could pick from