Step 1: Think of a time in the past 2-3 months when you witnessed an informal social norm being broken. You can choose a situation in which YOU broke the norm, or one in which you watched someone else break the norm.
Step 2: Write an analysis of this social interaction. In your paper, address the following:
- What was the setting and who were the major players involved? How did this norm-breaking event unfold?
- How did you know that a norm was broken? What SHOULD HAVE happen if social norms were obeyed? How do you know this and where did you learn it?
- How did the “audience” respond to the norm-breaker? What sanctions were used to enforce conformity to the norm (be specific)?
- How did the deviant norm-breaker cope with the situation? How did they employ impression management or otherwise manage their presentation of self (Erving Goffman)?
- What cultural values are attached to this norm? What can we conclude about the importance of this norm in society?