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Social Sciences
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Simple Experiment: Analyze The Reaction Of The Society (Research Paper Sample)


The student client was required to break a social norm by conducting a simple experiment and then analyze the reaction of the society.

Professor’s Name
Student’s Name
Breaking Social Norm
Norms are social expectations that act as a guide to human behavior. Standards explain why people do whatever or behave in a particular way in certain situations. Some norms are enforceable by law for instance norm against killing. It is also important to note that some social norms are regarded as so bad to violate for instance norm against assault while other are not necessarily strict such as folkways norms. Treves notes that norms are significant since they are the basis on which the acceptable conduct is determined (121). Additionally, social norms assist in the prediction of the behavior of individuals without being exposed to the random and chaotic human behavior. Notwithstanding, norms help people arrive in a decision under given circumstances. Browne adds that the norms are also responsible for the way humans interact with each other without conflict since they understand each other well (79).
Norms are critical in the society since they give rise to social norms. Social norms are undocumented guidelines on how to act. According to Treves, the concept of norms is significance in understanding the influence of the society in general (138). Norms are responsible for the definition of appropriate behaviors to respective groups that exist in the society. It is also significant to note that social norms set order in the community since human beings need some forces to guide their relationships hence a sense of understanding.
Norms give rise to cultural norms which guide the behavior of individuals from a given community. Cultural norms vary among communities to conform to the cultural beliefs of the members of the given community. Kathy suggests that members of a given culture act according to the norms of that community for that culture to be in existence and function (189). Norms are also related to folkways. Folkways are norms that are developed as a result of casual interaction hence repetition and routine of the interactions. They are socially approved behaviors in the society. According to Browne, they can also be defined as ways of life of individuals in a given community (201). Of equal significance to note is that folkways are the basic forms of social norms. Besides, folkways result from natural forces. However, violation of folkways does not result in adverse effects on other members of the society. This social norm does not lead to undesirable social issues however the members of the community do not encourage a violation of such norms. Folkways are regarded as informal norms since they develop and change within a short period.
On the other hand, mores are strict norms since they are responsible for determination of the right and wrong actions. Mores are also social norms that are generated through interaction. By studying the norms, people acquire the directives of their sanctions. It is worth noting that mores are regarded to as moral practice and represents acts that conform to the customary belief of a group of people. Additionally, Browne indicates that mores are informal but are more serious than the folkways (159).
Violation of mores leads to adverse impacts on the social order and possibility that other members of the society will also be affected are high. They are customary undocumented laws, for instance, having an intimate relationship with women before marriage is unacceptable by the society. Lastly, Browne claims that taboos are strongly negative norms and it is a behavior that is highly discouraged in the society and its violation may lender one an outcast of the given society (124). Taboos can be categorized into bodily function taboos and dietary taboos. Some of the taboos associated with the body are belching and defecation. On the other hand, Kathy notes that dietary taboos include cold food in Chinese culture as expectant women are not supposed to eat cold food during months close to giving birth (79). According to Browne, violation of these norms calls for serious sanctions to individuals committing such violations (213).
Description of the experiment
One of the norms that the people in the society hold is the code of dressing in different situations. Factors such as modesty, weather and gender dictated the appropriate attire to be worn. Therefore, I decided to break this norm by wearing light clothes instead of on regular clothes when my friends and I went for dinner. The outfit was quite immodest and too light for the freezing weather and was also unfit to put on in a restaurant.
I, therefore, noted that this was a serious violation of the norm of dressing. This is a folkways norm that is generated in the society through repetition of actions by man. The violation of this norm does not pose a threat to the members of the society hence does not create a serious problem. The custom has developed in the daily way of living thus conforming to the individuals unconsciously.
The reaction of the people
Everyone stared at me with a questioning glance. Other mocked me by congratulating me on my mode of dressing. Additionally, other people were perplexed and couldn’t stop looking at me however they did not have visible reactions. A lot of people complimented my outfit claiming that they liked it. Despite some positive feedback I still felt uncomfortable with the outfit. I become the center of attention at the restaurant after breaking the norm. My friends did not want to be associated with me anymore with some moving to other tables.
The people had a variety of reasons since norms are accepted ways of doing things and therefore doing things that are contrary to the norms leads to rejection of the action as people expect individuals to act within the limits of the norms set in society. The people behaved unusually as deviance calls for negative sanctions. Negative sanctions are the actions people do to indicate that they do not agree with the deviance. This explains why so many people looked at me with a questioning and shocking looks suggesting that they were strictly disapproving my actions. The act of my friends moving to other tables indicated that I was embarrassing them and therefore preferred to keep off to avoid the embarrassment. The people who complimented me for my mode of dressing were mocking me and wanted me to feel embraced due to the outfit.
According to Kathy, norms are responsible for social control that enforces c...
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