American culture has been referred to as a “melting pot.” Different cultures have added their own distinct aspects to society, making America a diverse country. Despite the plethora of cultures, certain norms, mores, and folkways are evident in American society. These ideas are vital to the function and stability of America. They provide guidelines for what is acceptable and not. In virtually every society, there are people who engage in deviant behavior and do not abide by the values that the rest of society follows. Theorists have debated if people are socialized into acting this way and if it is a social or personal problem. The sociological study of culture focuses on norms, mores, and folkways.
Expectancy violations include personal space. Personal space is the distance that a person prefers to be from others. Personal space is subjective to every individual’s preference and can be influenced by their cultural background. Edward Hall who coined the term, proxemics, said Americans have four proxemics zones. The first being the intimate distance about zero to eighteen inches, the next was called personal distance which was eighteen inches to four feet, then third proxemics zone was named social distance which was from four feet to 12 feet, and finally the last zone was public distance which was twelve feet to 15 feet. Hall taught that we shouldn’t be incentive to other special cultures and that it was important to adjust our non-verbal behavior to accommodate others (Griffin et al.,
A social norm is defined as the rules of behavior that are considered acceptable in society. Throughout American history, the rules regarding what is considered acceptable behavior has changed tremendously. These behaviors haven’t changed just once or twice, but many times over the span of many years. Social norms can change quite often. There is a tremendous amount of behaviors we do in modern America that would have never been considered acceptable years ago. American society has changed significantly in consideration to social norms. Social norms that have changed excessively throughout American history are being affiliated with the LGBT community, dating, relationships, and premarital sex. So, how have social norms changed in American society?
Lets start by understanding that cultures are a melting pot of people’s beliefs, language, behaviors, values, material objects, and norms. Norms are written and non-written “expectations of behavior” that govern a certain location, place, or culture (26). These norms also vary from culture to culture meaning what is a norm in the U.S may not be a norm in India. For example, a norm in America would be tipping a waiter after a meal. Another would be acknowledging someone as you walk past him or her, typically done at work or in a public place. In all, norms are folkways, mores, taboos, and written laws that are an established standard of one’s behavior.
Violating Social Norms Have you ever wondered why we hold the doors for those behind us? How about the reason we use utensils when we eat? What about why we always stand facing the doors in the elevator? These are all examples of what are known as social norms. According to Dr. Ward social norms are “basic rules of society that help people know what is and is not appropriate to do in any situation.” These basic rules of society are usually unwritten and unspoken and many of us pick up on them over time. Although, some social norms are very common throughout many cultures, there is a lot of them that vary depending on which culture you are apart of. For example, here in America, a major social norm that we have is when eating, the polite thing to do is to use spoons and forks, instead of digging in with your hands. For instance, we would not eat spaghetti with our hands but we would use a fork. In some Thiland cultures it is considered rude to put most foods in your mouth with a fork. Then there is also some cultures such as Chile in which it is impolite to use your hands for anything, even foods such as french fries, they use forks while eating.
(Giger Newman & Davidhizar, 2002) Space Space refers to the distance between individuals when they interact. (Giger Newman & Davidhizar, 2002) According to Hall (1966), there are four zones of interpersonal space: intimate, personal, social and consultative, and public. (Giger Newman & Davidhizar, 2002) Each culture could have different rules when it comes to space. Alongside that each person has their own comfort level when it comes to space. A patient’s personal and intimate space can cause discomfort and may result in a client’s refusing treatment or not returning for further care. (Giger Newman & Davidhizar, 2002)
Norms are rules for behavior that are based on values, made through society. Breaking one of the norms can sometimes make people uncomfortable, or even disgusted. There are general rules that can make a conversation comfortable, based on how well a person knows others that talking in the conversation (“Social Distance”). As I experimented with the disruption of conversational distance, I experienced two completely different reactions. Depending on the level of comfortability, norms can be accepted behavior or can be
With the election of Obama as the 44th president, commentators on media outlets were proclaiming that America had ushered in the post-racial era in its history. How does a nation, in just 40 years, overcome the conditioning 245 years of conditioning of a collective traded as a livestock commodity, 77 plus years of legal social conditioning of a collective as second class citizens, and 10 plus years struggling for civil rights against tolerated illegal social conditioning of a collective as unfit for integration and assimilation? Only in 2009 did the governing body of the United States apologize for slavery, seemingly appearing the nation has never come to terms with it sorted past. In this apology the senate was admit that this would not open
In our society, there are many social norms we are expected to abide by. These unwritten rules and standards of behavior often go unnoticed, leaving society to take them for granted. We only become truly aware of the norms of society when they are actually violated. When a violation occurs, those who continue to conform may respond with positive or negative sanctions, such as humor, alarm, irritation, fear, or a wide variety of emotions.
) Before I violated this norm, I felt perfectly fine riding elevators because I knew what was acceptable and appropriate. While I was violating the norm, I felt extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed because I knew better, but this was my assignment and I had to do it. After I violated this norm, I understood more about folkways because I experienced them first hand. It was extremely difficult for me to violate the fourth Way in front of strangers, but simple in front of my friends because that is my personality.
When researching the topic of social norms and norm violations, there is an ongoing list. This is because almost everything we do in society is based on these social norms. If/when these are broken it can be punished as little as someone giving a dirty look, or as large as severe jail time. Social norms come into existence when a society does a specific task over and over until it becomes a normal occurrence. One of the biggest concerns is the war on drugs. Marijuana use is harshly punishments yet causes little to none negative effects. On the other hand, we have tobacco which there are barely any laws on yet it is killing thousands of Americans.
Across the course of human history, humans developed an odd concept that ended up dominating almost the entirety of modern life and dictating what people would do and say in many situations. This concept is known as social convention. As human society developed as an organized group, certain things became viewed as not appropriate for a certain society. This obviously varies across the globe, with different customs arising in different nations, but it is almost universal to have a kind of unspoken ruleset that everyone conforms to. Certain ways of living life are viewed as allowable, while others tend to be looked down upon, or if not that, simply do not yield the means for a comfortable life. While the vastness of the earth means that what is acceptable somewhere is unacceptable elsewhere, almost
Abstract This is report is about the reactions of personal space when invaded. A total of 20 strangers were tested to see how different genders and ages react to strangers coming to close. The experiment took place in Woden plaza where a student stood behind a subject and watched there reaction
In this paper I’m writing about a violation i witness, and one norm violation i committed myself. Before I did this I had to figure what a norm was. “Norms are reality expectations and the right behavior” (Aiken, 1991, p.121). Avoiding a norm violation is to go against the right behavior that you shouldn’t commit if it isn’t the right thing to do. There are many types of norm violations you can break. Mores are the “Norms are very strict to enforce because they are thought different essential to the core values of the group” (Aiken, 1991, p. 132). A folkway is a “norm that isn’t as strict and enforced as mores or values” (Aiken, 1991, p. 136). Norms aren’t the same everywhere, because behaviors that might be legal to do in the United States can be illegal in other countries and they can get offended if you disrespect them. Cultures are a very big thing when it comes to being respectful and disrespectful when it comes to a perspective of behavior. This is due to different type of cultural systems because in the United States we will accept some norm violations but in another country they might find it offensive. Values are considering standards in which people define what is desirable, and undesirable, and also good, or evil, and gorgeous from hideous. When people accept our values in the right behavior, that’s when we approach them with a smile and a handshake, or even better we can approach them with a present. When norms are violated we become angry and disappointed, so
What may have been the norm for one may not be the norm to another, especially when it comes to the cultures of foreign lands. Cultural norms often are so strongly ingrained in an individual's daily life that the individual may be unaware of certain behaviors. Until these behaviors are seen in the context of a different culture with different values and beliefs, the