Social Interaction

Deviance – Experiential Learning ESSAY
Assignment Overview:
Social interaction proceeds fluidly in everyday life, because people have shared definitions of and expectations about routine situations. As we go about our day, we generally assume that people are going to behave a certain way and observe certain norms. When they don’t, we may sometimes know how to respond, because we have seen that kind of violation before. For example, if someone cuts in front of us in line, we probably already know how we would react to that breach of common courtesy.
But other norms are so ingrained and automatic that we can hardly imagine anyone breaking them. Because we have never been confronted with the behavior, we have no pre-set idea of how to react when someone fails to behave “normally.” For instance, if you were sitting in a near-empty movie theater and a stranger suddenly sat down directly beside you, how would you react? Chances are, you have no idea, because it’s just not something people do.
This assignment calls for you to breach a social norm, either by doing something one is not supposed to do, OR by not doing something that is considered standard behavior in that particular situation. Examples include eating without utensils, crowding into someone’s personal space, and facing the wrong way on an elevator.
ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT:
If you are physically unable to perform any type of norm breaching experiment, you may analyze an example of norm breaching in the media in a film, television show, literary novel, or other form of media. Directions given below.
Assignment Instructions: Preparation
1) Think of a social norm to violate. It should be a situation where everyone knows what the appropriate behavior would be without having to think about it, with the limitation that it cannot be anything illegal or harmful to yourself or others: we are examining LEGAL deviance only in this assignment. Any illegal or harmful activities will not count for the assignment.
You may find Social Norms- Introduction to Sociology to be helpful in thinking about social norm violations. It gives information on the norm breaching experiments of Harold Garfinkel and others who studied this phenomenon.
2) Violate the norm you chose over a long enough time to permit yourself to observe at least three reactions from others. (If you are having trouble getting people to react, then your behavior isn’t really a norm violation, and you should try a different one.) Important: do not tell anyone what you are doing, or that this is an assignment. You should behave as if what you are doing is normal to you. You should bring something to write on such as a cell phone or notebook so that you can take notes on other people’s reactions and your own personal feelings throughout the process. When you are finished, your task is to develop a 4-6 page paper write-up about this experiment (not including title and reference pages).
FOR ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT:
Think of a social norm that you have seen violated in a film, television show, literary novel, or other form of media. It should be a situation where everyone knows what the appropriate behavior would be without having to think about it, with the exception of the character who is violating the norm.
You may find Social Norms – Introduction to Sociology to be helpful in thinking about social norm violations. It gives information on the norm breaching experiments of Harold Garfinkel and others who studied this phenomenon.
Observe this norm violation in the media you selected long enough to note at least three reactions from other characters. You should have something to write on such as a cell phone or notebook so that you can take notes about other people’s reactions and your own personal feelings throughout the process. When you are finished, your task is to develop a 4-6 page paper write-up about this experiment (not including title and reference pages).
Assignment Instructions: Paper
1) In your paper, under the subheading of Method: Include a 1 paragraph overview explaining what you did and how you did it. Explain which norm you violated—i.e., what is normally done vs. what you did differently.
2) Under the subheading of Findings: Include a 1 page analysis that includes:
Your personal feelings: how did you feel before engaging in your norm violation, during it, and afterward?
Other people’s reactions during the violation. Did anything unusual or substantial happen because of the norm violation? How did you know what people were thinking and feeling about the violation? Were there any notable patterns that arose in people’s reactions?
3) Under the subheading of Discussion: Include a 3-5 page analysis in which you reflect on your findings. Using the course concepts and ideas discussed and read thus far, how can you understand and interpret the interactions of others? How can you understand your own experience/feelings about norm breaching? In this discussion, you must:
Clearly apply at least 3 relevant sociological concepts/theories from our course materials/readings to the deviant behavior you analyzed in this experiment.
Clearly apply findings from at least 5 meaningful up-to-date resources, 3 of which are from reputable academic journals, to the deviant behavior you analyzed in this experiment.
NOTE: do not include the actual notes you took during the observations. You need to analyze and discuss the notes, but not include/list them in your paper.
Do not use unverifiable, secondary sites such as Wikipedia, about.com, ask.com, and similar. Use our course materials, peer-reviewed journal articles from the library, and other scholarly sources.
Your paper should utilize sound critical thought and full APA references at the end.
FOR ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT:
In your paper, under the subheading of Method: Include a 1 paragraph overview explaining what media you analyzed. Explain which norm was violated—i.e., what is normally done vs. what was done differently.
2) Under the subheading of Findings: Include a 1 page analysis that includes:
Your personal feelings: how did you feel while observing the norm violation during it, and afterward?
Other people’s reactions during the violation. Did anything unusual or substantial happen because of the norm violation? How did you know what other characters were thinking and feeling about the violation? Were there any notable patterns that arose in people’s reactions?
3) Under the subheading of Discussion: Include a 3-5 page analysis in which you reflect on your findings. Using the course concepts and ideas discussed and read thus far, how can you understand and interpret the interactions of others? How can you understand your own experience/feelings about norm breaching? In this discussion, you must:
Clearly apply at least 3 relevant sociological concepts/theories from our course materials/readings to the deviant behavior you analyzed in this experiment.
Clearly apply findings from at least 5 meaningful up-to-date resources, 3 of which are from reputable academic journals, to the deviant behavior you analyzed in this experiment.
NOTE: do not include the actual notes you took during the observations. You need to analyze and discuss the notes, but not include/list them in your paper.
Do not use unverifiable, secondary sites such as Wikipedia, about.com, ask.com, and similar. Use our course materials, peer-reviewed journal articles from the library, and other scholarly sources.
Your paper should utilize sound critical thought and full APA references at the end.
General requirements:
Submissions should be typed, double-spaced, 1″ margins, times new roman 12 pt font, and saved as .doc, .docx, .pdf.
Use APA format for citations and references
View the grading rubric so you understand how you will be assessed on this Assignment.
Disclaimer- Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results.
This course has “Resubmission” status enabled to help you if you realized you submitted an incorrect or blank file, or if you need to submit multiple documents as part of your Assignment. Resubmission of an Assignment after it is grades, to attempt a better grade, is not permitted.