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Social norms and their effects are often nebulous. To feel how powerful even insignificant social norms can be, try breaking one. Pick a social norm that seems inconsequential to you and break it. Consider the following options:
- Look up (at the sky or ceiling) all the time
- Say “hello” to everyone
- When people ask how you are doing, tell them about your whole day
- Wear your clothes backwards
- Don’t take your coat, hat and gloves off while you are inside
- Violate people’s personal space
- Whisper when you talk
- Talk to strangers
- Face the back of the elevator
- Push buttons to floors you’re not going to
- Don’t get off
- Don’t get on – tell people you’ll wait for the next one
Classroom Behavior (if you are in a face-to-face class):
- Make constant eye contact with the instructor
- Talk and then raise your hand
- Read a novel during class
- Eat soup with a fork
- Eat steak with a knife and spoon
- Eat with your hands
You get the idea… feel free to come up with your own social norm to break!
This assignment can be a lot of fun. It can also feel awkward and uncomfortable when you feel how deeply ingrained norms are and how uncomfortable people can be with someone not adhering to them.
Once you have broken your social norm, write a brief description of what you did, how people reacted to it, and how you felt.
Type your responses in a Word document and click the assignment title to attach your Word document. Include “activity_five” and your name in the file name to ensure you receive credit for submitting your assignment (activity_five_john_smith.doc).
You can check if your assignment was successfully submitted by accessing your My Grades page. Your assignment should be in Needs Grading ( exclamation mark represents Needs Grading status ) status, which means it is ready to be accessed and graded. Click the exclamation mark to see the Review Submission History page. This assignment is worth 2 points and will be graded according to the following grading criteria.
|1.||Student has identified a social norm to break.|
|2.||Student has described when and where they broke the social norm.|
|3.||Student has described other people’s reaction to the student breaking the social norm.|
|4.||Student has described his/her own emotional response to breaking the social norm.|
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