Norm Violation Paper and Works Cited

Norm Violation Paper and Works Cited - 1 In American...

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In American society and American culture, there is an expected dress code among people. The more specific and subtle details of fashion differ from subculture to subculture, but generally there is a norm expectancy in the way people dress and act. According to this norm, people are supposed to wear what is considered regular clothing, e.g. socks, shoes, sandals, pants, shorts, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts etc… I thought it would be an interesting idea to see how people would react to me wearing something a little outside of this realm. During Halloween week, I dressed in a very revealing bumblebee costume at night and went from door to door trick or treating. I got a number of various reactions, which differed from area to area. This type of behavior might not seem that strange in Boulder during the weekend before Halloween when all the college students dress up in their costumes and go out. It did, however, seem a little out of the ordinary when I did this two days after Halloween day on Wednesday, November 2 nd . The reactions also became even more extreme as I journeyed farther away from the CU campus and more into the residential areas of North Boulder. The two main middle class norms I violated during my research were those of privacy, which I violated with “intrusion” and more specifically “conventionality”, which I clearly violated with bizarre behavior (Tittle and Paternoster 24). I violated these norms in two different areas and received two different sets of varied reactions. I started with the area immediately surrounding the CU campus and I ventured to such places as many of the sororities and other random houses in the area surrounding The Hill. For the most part, people in this area seemed to think I was a bit strange and would question as to why I was trick or treating so late, but would not be afraid or alarmed at my appearance. In fact, many of the houses I went to went out of their way to provide with me something 1
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making sure that I did not leave empty handed. For example, one young man asked me whether I would like Top Ramen soup or maple flavored oatmeal to which I responded that it did not matter and he gave me a little of both because he did not have any real candy. I also received things like apples and leftover cookies from Halloween. Another
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  • Fall '05
  • Sociology, Trick-or-treating, North Boulder

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