Violating a norm - Sociology 101 Violating a Norm How do we...

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Sociology 101 Violating a Norm How do we become human? There are many arguments how we become “human,” obviously we are born as a human, but how do we become the human that we are as an individual? We become adapted to the world as we grow up and become accustomed to the way life goes about us. Michael Schwalbe points out various factors in The Sociologically Examined Life that help explain in more detail how we are constrained by social factors that form us as individuals. Schwalbe writes how we are guide by rules in culture that we adapt to and create who we are, as he states in chapter two, “Once we are equipped with procedural rules needed to handle routine situations, we can carry on our lives without having to call home for instructions…These rules do not control us from the inside.” This being said, rules are set by the culture we grow up in of how to behave in social situations and life in general. They guide us how to act as a human. The second question, why do we have norms and where do they come from, follows the same idea, from chapter two plainly said, “People hold tightly to ideas because those ideas tell them what is right and wrong.” The idea that we are “taught” how to behave in situations around us through the rules set by our culture. The culture you are raised in teaches you the most basic rules, like not to eat candy for breakfast, brushing your teeth before bed, and putting your seatbelt on in the car, but also there are social rules that control our behavior. An example from the text would be not to stare at people. Schwalbe says in chapter five, “When waking down a busy street you use this rule to avoid attracting the attention of strangers…Under other conditions—perhaps someone invades your space on the bus—you might break the rule against staring as to say, ‘Please get away from me.’ In this case you stare as a way to send a message. This works because people know the rule against staring and know that breaking it is meaningful.” We know that it is rude to stare at people, so as long as we follow this rule, we are behaving in the “right” way, according to cultural social rules. What would happen if we didn’t have these rules? That question brings another question to my mind, would actions out of the ordinary not be seen as out
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2011 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Cornwell during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Violating a norm - Sociology 101 Violating a Norm How do we...

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