Free Essays On Social Norms

Social Deviance and Social Norms Essay

911 Words4 Pages

Social deviance is a violation of social norms. So what qualifies as a social deviant? According to sociologist, Howard S. Becker the best definition of social deviance is, “It is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that do something deviant.” In cultures around the world, there are many practices Americans find deviant, but in other cultures, it’s the norm. In many countries around the world, girls are married as young as 11 years old. To Americans, that is considered child abuse and rape, but that is only because of our social norms. To the men and parents in different countries, it is perfectly normal because their social norms. In America, social deviance comes in many different forms. We have our sexual deviants,…show more content…

Avner considered himself bi-sexual. He associated with the furry culture, and attended several furry conventions. Imagine how he would have been looked at thirty years ago.
Appearance modification is the lighter side of social deviance. Other forms of deviance include serial murder, incest, rape and pedophilia. One of the most famous of violent social deviance would have to be Theodore Bundy. Theodore Bundy was a serial murderer and rapist. He killed dozens of women across four states. He was executed, by way of electrocution, in Florida in 1989. He was an extreme case of social deviance.
Rape is an awful, but real type of social deviance. Whether it is from a stranger, friend, relative or even a husband; According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National, Network) an American is assaulted every two minutes. In other cultures, rape is a way of marrying the women of your choice. “Marriage by capture” practiced in Hmong culture. Hmong men simply pick a girl, take her to their home and rape her, then they are considered married. To Americans, that is a horrifying idea, but for the Hmong people it is a cultural norm. In America, it is a serious form of socially deviant behavior.
In America, incest is another shocking form of sexual, social deviance. In the Netherlands and Belgium, you can have sex with close family members, if you are over the age of 18 and it is consensual. In other countries, cousins are

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In our society we have a number of society norms that we abide by. For example, there is an unwritten rule of how one should behave in an elevator. For example, it is proper to face front, stand away from strangers, and not to look at others. When a social norm is broken people may respond with alarm, humor, fear, irritation, or an array of other emotions. When you think of a norm, you are probably thinking about being normal.

But in psychology terms, norm means, a standard or representative value for a group. The norm, that is more common to people is social norm. Meaning expectations about what behavior thoughts or feelings are appropriate within a given group within a given context. In society today we the people decide what is normal and abnormal.

I surveyed five people and asked them two questions of what they thought was normal and abnormal. The first question was Do you think dressing weird out in the public eye is normal? There response were No, because everybody does that anyway. My next question was, Does being rude to an elderly normal? There response was No, you have to give respect to older people. Well, I did this survey to get an idea on what people thought of what was normal and what wasnt.

This survey also helped me chose a norm to break. When I broke the norms I actually broke two and didnt even know it until I was done with my acting. The two social norms that I broke were, wearing pajamas to the movie theatre with my boyfriend and being rude to authority such as older siblings. When my boyfriend picked me up, he just looked at me strangely.

I know he wanted to ask why did I have on pajamas but he just kept quiet. By the way I did bring a extra pair of clothes with me, so I wouldnt look like an idiot that whole night. Well anyway, on our way to the movies, my boyfriend just kept staring at me, but mind you he never said a word. When we went to get the tickets I received many looks from people and heard many whispers around me. There was a couple standing behind us and they were saying, How could he let his girlfriend come out the house looking like that? I wanted to turn around and say something but I just kept my cool and said to myself, This is only a test Vina dont let them get to you.

Once I finish talking to myself I was relieved and ready to go into the movies. While walking into the movies, I received more looks and heard more whispers coming out of people which really didnt make sense. All they had to do was just except me for who I was and that I was wearing clothes. After I got tired of the looks and whispers I changed my clothes and walked back in movie theatre. Once again my boyfriend looked at me strangely and said, Why did you change? When I finally broke it down to him, that I was doing a project for psychology he started to laugh.

His Reponses towards me was, he was going to love me no matter how I come out the house. I thought was cute, that let me know that he doesnt care what people think he was always going to be with me, no matter how I look. When I broke the norm of how I look, I felt really insecure about myself and I really did care of what people were going to say about me. But I did learn this, people are very judgmental on a person that they have no clue about.

The other norm that I broke was, going against authority, the authority that I went against was my mom during Thanksgiving dinner. When I did this norm, I really felt bad because, me and my mom are so close and I would never had disrespect her the way I did when breaking this norm. My mom had asked me to pass her the cranberry sauce for her dressing. I responded and said, Dont you have arms to reach for it. My mom gave me that look like Im a get you when we get home.

Everybody at the table just stopped eating and looked at me like I was stupid. I just kept eating like nothing never happened. Once everybody finished their dinner, I had to quickly make an announcement saying, this was just an experiment to see your reactions to my actions of today. Nobody believed me until I showed them the project paper. Once everybody read it, they said my teacher would get me into a lot of trouble doing projects like this. When I broke this norm, I destroyed the relationship between my mother and the rest of the family that was at the dinner table.


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