Total words count: 350
Reading article You May Ask Yourself reading link: https://digital.wwnorton.com/youmayask5
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Chapter four (4) (pages 117 – 151 in You May Ask Yourself) deals with socialization and how society works. We learn about the ways in which we internalize social norms and the creation of the generalize other. William Shakespeare, (and Irvin Goffman) frame the social world as a play with everyone as actors on the “metaphysical social stage … struggling to make a good impression” (YMAY page 140).
For this prompt, I would like you to violate a norm – a breaching experiment.
Note: This norm violation experiment is also the Essay #2 assignment due on Thursday of this week. I want everyone to be able to process the experience with one another. Please use this prompt as a way to describe your findings to your peers before writing up your experience in your short essay for Thursday.
Here are the directions of the assignment (below).
Breaching a Social Norm
This exercise demonstrates the way in which our interactions with others are often guided by an unwritten script. By violating that script students will illuminate the content of the script. This activity also illustrates how interactions with others shape our social behavior, encouraging us to abide by, rather than challenge, the unwritten rules contained in the script.
You will conduct an exercise that violates social norms. This exercise may be performed alone or in a group (of your choice) of four or fewer participants. The norm violation must exclude illegal activities or those that might risk someone’s safety, health or well-being. If conducting your experiment as a group, each group member will perform the breach once. When not performing the breach, the other group members should observe the interaction and write an observation log documenting people’s reaction to the breach. The group member performing the breach should write a small paragraph afterwards about how it felt to break social norms.
This essay should include:
1) A description of the norm you violated. Was it a folkway or a more? (Remember, you cannot break a law).
2) A description of the violation.
3) A description of the most general way people responded as the violation was enacted.
4) A description of how you felt enacting the norm violation.
5) An analytic discussion of the sociological significance of the breach.
Note: Examples of the norm breach includes, but is not limited to:
Saying hello to everyone, violating people’s personal space, standing right next to someone on the elevator, walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk, whispering/yelling when you talk, talking to yourself in public, eat with your hands, saying “goodbye” when answering the phone, etc.
Note: Again, you may not do anything illegal, or that might risk someone’s safety, health or well-being when you are conducting your norm violation experiment.