Norm Violation Paper - Michelle Praxmarer TA: Jesse Friday...

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Michelle Praxmarer TA: Jesse Friday 12-12:50 Norm Violation Paper Sociologists use the term deviance to refer to any violation of norms; whether the infraction is as minor as sitting next to someone in a public setting, or as serious as murder. This deceptively simple definition takes us to the heart of the sociological perspective of deviance, which sociologist Howard S. Becker identified this way: “it is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that make something deviant”. The norm I have chosen to violate is certainly common knowledge. A violation of space is insulting, uncomfortable, and awkward. My experiment took place on several buses at different times of the day. I decided to enter an almost empty bus where many seats were available and sit down right next to someone. I did this a variety of 20 times, on different routes and stops. The reactions I got were very interesting to say the least. When I took my first step on the “Hop” bus for this experiment, I was incredibly nervous and already embarrassed for myself. I sat down next to a college student who happened to be a male. This was the exact situation I wanted to avoid, especially for my first run. The first ten minutes were incredibly awkward. He proceeded to fiddle with his phone, squirm in his seat, and finally ending with the assumption that I was coming on to him! He asked me for my number and after all that was said and done, I told him I was doing a project for Deviance in U.S. society.
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Norm Violation Paper - Michelle Praxmarer TA: Jesse Friday...

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