Deviance is the label sociologists use to describe behavior that violates cultural norms. Norms include the expectations and rules that guide our behavior, appearance, manners, gestures, body language, conduct, et cetera. For this assignment, your task is to break a norm and write about your experience, as follows:
- Choose one norm to break as long as it is within the guidelines for legal behavior. Examples of acceptable norm violations include dressing in a manner that would be considered eccentric or inappropriate for a given social situation or invading someone’s personal space.
In a 2- to 3-page paper, double-spaced, include the following:
- Explain which norm you broke and why you chose it. Discuss what the appropriate behavior for the situation you chose would typically require (for example, if you are violating a dress code, discuss what you would normally wear in that situation).
- Discuss why your behavior violated those norms and the reaction you received upon breaking them.
- Apply one sociological theory of deviance to interpret the response to your behavior. Begin by briefly discussing the key aspects of the theory you have chosen and then explain why that theory is useful for understanding your norm-breaking experiment. The Why Are People Deviant? lecture provides an overview of the major sociological theories of deviance.