Disrupting Norms of Behaviour

Disrupting Norms of Behaviour - Disrupting Norms of...

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Disrupting Norms of Behaviour. 1. The American sociologist Harold Garfinkel decided to show how norms exist (and what happens when we break or disrupt them) by asking his students, in a series of experiments, to deliberately (but secretly) break some expected norms. We can look at a couple of examples as follows: a. Garfinkel asked his students to engage their friends in conversation and deliberately break the "conversation norms" that we all usually take for granted when we talk to other people. The following transcript is an example of what happened. .. * ( S waved his hand cheerily). S: How are you? E: How am I in regard to what? My health, my finances, my school work, my peace of mind, my. .. S: (red in the face and suddenly out of control) Look! I was just trying to be polite. Frankly I don't give a damn how you are. * There are a number of possible explanations for the above exchange: * One reason might be that we rely upon people behaving in roughly-predictable ways towards us, mainly because if they did not life would be extremely difficult and tiring. In this respect, each time we met someone, even if they were a close friend that we'd known for years, we would have to establish a whole new set of norms for our behaviour - we would have, in short, to "get to know someone" each and every time that we met them. * Other answers might be that E. was deliberately trying to upset S. by taking a greeting literally or perhaps E. had gone mad and genuinely did not know how to answer S. in a socially-expected and acceptable way. This leads us to Garfinkel's second experiment. b. Garfinkel asked his students, when they returned home during their University vacation, to
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Disrupting Norms of Behaviour - Disrupting Norms of...

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