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A norm is a social rule

A norm is a social rule. There are many norms that help to frame how we are supposed to behave in our daily lives, one example is gender norms (what are social rules we follow to ‘be masculine’ and to ‘be feminine’); another example is standing in line (consider what would happen if you cut everyone in line at 8am in a Starbucks?).

Note: it is important that you conduct the observations and norm breaking during this class; recalling past observations is not the same as purposefully observing your surroundings from a sociological perspective.

In essay format, complete steps 1 through 6 below.

11        1.  Consider the assigned reading to this point

  1. Define norm
  2. List two norms you tend to observe in everyday life.

The purpose of this exercise if for you to observe ONE social setting to begin to detect patterns in human behavior – observance of norms and potentially behaviors that deviate from the norm. This week’s exercise includes two parts. First, you will need to go to ONE public place and observe the people there for 25 minutes. Note people’s behavior, their demeanor, their reactions/interactions to/with each other. Second, you will break a norm and observe people’s reactions to your norm breaking behavior.

  1. 2.  Identify the norm you are going to break. (**this should not include breaking the law**)
  2. Choose a time and location for when you are going to conduct your observations
  3. Go to the specified location and proceed with your observations.
  4. You must also be a keen social observer; a “peeping Tom” in the sociological sense. Take handwritten (recommended) and/or mental notes of:
  5. details about your chosen location (time of day, lighting, furniture, plants, sounds, temperature, smell, vibe/energy, etc)
  6. the people around you, not only their behavior but general information about their sociodemographic characteristics (age, race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, etc);

iii.     your thoughts and feelings while observing may be a brief section of the paper.

  1. Afterobserving your social setting for 25 minutes, you will now go about your norm- breaking
  2. note: if your norm-breaking includes changing your visible appearance, you will need to conduct your general observations, and observations when breaking your norm, at two different times.
  3. The setting and timing of your norm-breaking behavior will vary, but carefully observe people’s reactions to you during your norm breaking for a minimum of 10 minutes. (the longer the better)

iii.  If you have reservations or concerns about the norm-breaking, please contact your instructor with any questions.  Also remember that deviance not only consists of negative behaviors, but can be positive as well (paying for someone’s coffee in line, greeting strangers, etc.).  If you find it difficult to break a norm because of your location (such as a military deployment) or concerns about drawing negative attention, you may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member who can break a norm while you observe.

  1. Write a 2 – 4 page reaction paper about your observations and norm breaking. Your paper should include
  2. Norm definition, examples of two norms, and norm you chose to broke
  3. a thick description of the location (i.e. building you were in (what is the architecture like), descriptions of people there (in terms of socio-demographic characteristics: age, race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status), sounds, smells, temperature, time of day and week, etc);
  4. clear detail of your observations;
  5. analysis of your observations using at least FOUR sociological conceptsfrom the readings so far
  6. this should include clearly identifying the concept you are going to use, defining the concept using the text, and then applying the concept to your observation
  7. because you will be paraphrasing or directly quoting from another source, you will need to use APA-formatting with in-text citations and full references to give your sources proper credit (otherwise it is plagiarism). See APA citation tips under Resources>Materials and Resources folder for more detail.
  8. a discussion of your experience of the situation. For example you might write how you felt when you started to detect a pattern in sociodemographic characteristics and/or behavior.
  9. A discussion of your norm breaking behavior, how people reacted (or didn’t), how you felt, etc.

 

  1. The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 1″ margins, arial or times new roman 11 pt font.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This assignment includes 2 parts:

First, you will need to go to ONE public place and observe the people there for 25 minutes. Note people’s behavior, their demeanor, their reactions/interactions to/with each other.

Second, you will break a norm and observe people’s reactions to your norm breaking behavior.

Basically, our assignment asks you to apply and define four sociological concepts in addition to “norm” at the beginning.   So that is a total of 5 sociological concepts: “norm” at the beginning and then four additional sociological concepts applied and defined (using the definitions in our text) throughout your essay. I will be looking for proper application of the concept as well as a definition of the concept from our text with proper in-text citation (Chambliss & Eglitis, 2016). No Wikipedia or dictionaries please. Please use our text for ALL your sociological definitions.  All you need for this assignment is you and Chambliss & Eglitis.  No outside research necessary.

SOCI 111 Observation Essay – 2 to 4 pages; typed doubled spaced, 11 point font

  1. 1. Define Norm
  2. 2. List two norms you see in everyday life
  3. 3. One public place, observe people for 25 minutes. Note behavior, demeanor, reactions/interactions.
  4. 4. Break a norm and observe people’s reaction.

Identify norm you will break. Choose time and location. Note details about time of day, lighting, furniture, plants, sounds, temperature, smell, vibe, etc. Note details about the people – sociodemographics.

Essay must include:

  1. 1. Define norm; list two norms you see in everyday life; describe norm you will break
  2. 2. Thick description of location
  3. 3. Clear details of observation
  4. 4. Apply and define four sociological concepts – four in addition to “norm”
  5. 5. Discussion of experience
  6. 6. Discussion of norm breaking behavior and reaction
  7. 7. APA format
  8. 8. 2-4 pages, types double spaced, 11 point font

What do I mean by “sociological concepts?”   They are all the bold terms and phrases within the text, such as “socialization,” “norms” and “folkways.” Look at the bottom of the text page for the concepts and definitions.  Key terms (sociological concepts) are also listed following the Summary of each Chapter.  Additionally, the entire GLOSSARY contains sociological concepts.

Please remember to define them using the definitions found in our text.  Two examples of what I am looking for (not necessarily these concepts; this is just an example):

According to Chambliss & Eglitis (2016), values are “the abstract and general standards in society that define ideal principles, like those governing notions of right and wrong” (p.58)).

Another example: Cultural Relativism “is a worldview whereby we understand the practices of another society sociologically, in terms of that society’s own norms and values and not our own” (Chambliss & Eglitis, 2016, p.62).

Both your in-text citations (in-text citations should show up after each sentence in which you introduce and define a sociological concept – see more in the APA guide) and your references at the end need to be in APA format.

Our AMU library website offers a good APA style manual:   http://apus.campusguides.com/content.php?pid=205954&sid=3202561#11507859

Here’s another good APA guide:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grading Rubric

CATEGORY Outstanding Above Average Average Below Average Unacceptable
Observation Description Provided thick description of observations with a lot of detail about social setting and socio-demographic characteristics of people observed (5 pts) Needed some elaboration on either social setting or socio-demographic characteristics of people observed (4 pts) Need significantly more detail about social setting or socio-demographic characteristics observed; or some elaboration on both. (3.5pts) Summary of observations lacks detail overall. (3pt) No summary of norm breaking behavior included (0-2pts)
Sociological Concepts Identified Clearly identified 4 relevant sociological concepts from the readings. (3 pts) Clearly identified 3 relevant sociological concepts from the readings, one not clearly identified. (2.4 pts) Clearly identified 2 relevant sociological concepts from the readings. (2.1 pts) Clearly identified 1 relevant sociological concepts from the readings. (1.8 pts) Did not clearly identify any sociological concepts (0-1.5 pts)
Sociological Concepts Defined Clearly defined 4 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s). (3 pts) Clearly defined 3relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s); 1 not clearly defined. (2.4 pts) Clearly defined 2 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s). (2.1 pts) Clearly defined 1 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s). (1.8 pts) Did not include text definitions of sociological concepts (0-1.5 pts)
Analysis Clearly applied 4 relevant sociological concepts to analysis of the current event. (3 pts) Clearly applied 3 relevant sociological concepts to analysis of the observation, one not clearly applied to analysis. (2.4 pts) Clearly applied 2 relevant sociological concepts to analysis of the observation. (2.1 pts) Clearly applied 1 relevant sociological concepts to analysis of the observation. (1.8 pts) Did not apply sociological concepts to analysis of observation. (0-1.5 pts)
Reflection Included discussion of your experience of the situation (2pts) 1.6 pt Need to elaborate on your experience of the situation (1.4 pt) 1.2 pt No discussion of your experience of the situation (0-1 pts)
Description of norm breaking behavior and observations Provided thick description of norm breaking behavior and observations people and their reactions including socio-demographic characteristics (4 pts) Needed some elaboration on either norm breaking behavior and observations people and their reactions including socio-demographic characteristics (3.2 pts) Need significantly more detail about norm breaking behavior and observations people and their reactions including socio-demographic characteristics; or some elaboration on both. (2.8 pts) Summary of norm breaking behavior and observations lacks detail overall. (2.4 pt) No summary of norm breaking behavior or observations included (0-2 pts)
APA Formatted Citations Included APA formatted in-text citations and full references for ALL paraphrased and quoted work from other sources. (3 pts) Minor errors in APA formatting of citations. (2.4 pts) Multiple errors in APA formatting of citations. (2.1 pt) Missing some citations, and errors in APA formatting. (1.8 pts) No citations included. (0-1 pts)
Grammar & Spelling Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (2 pts) Author makes a couple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (1.6 pts) Author makes a few errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (1.4 pt) Author makes multiple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (1.2 pts)

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