Observing People's Behavior at a Fitness Center

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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. For this assignment, I decided to observe a fitness center (gym) setting and break…show more content…
Upon arrival, I estimated about 15-20 personal scattered throughout the room on various body equipment. I noticed that I was the youngest person there; everyone else (by the looks) was ranging from late 20’s to early 50’s. The first significant aspect that I always realize is that there are more males than females, typically a 4:1 ratio. The diversity of race/ethnicity was noticeable but not really a concern towards the atmosphere of the gym. Before I started the observations I did run on the treadmill so that the gym visit wasn’t a total waste. Afterwards, my observation was done in the corner with the mats, while I stretched for twenty-five minutes. To begin, only one person that was in the gym when I first arrived left before the observation began. Every person, excluding the one trainer that was present, had earphones in. Listening to music while working out is typically a custom inside the gym. There were a few patrons that stayed on certain equipment the entire time they were there. Unless someone is asking about equipment or advice, there is little to no conversation going on. One unique thing I realized is that there is no eye contact made between patrons unless you are working out together or asking questions. For example, when I would catch someone’s eyes they immediately looked away (this also happened between other members as well). If I were to

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