Norm Violation Essay

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  • Topic: Female, Male, Woman
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Brenda Mora
4 October 2011
SOC 101-3003
Norm Violation Exercise

The norm violation exercise that I decided to experiment with was invasion of space. My plan was to go up to random people in small groups of three or four and ask one of them for help, thank them, hug them, and walk away; my friend thought it sounded like fun so he volunteered to perform the encounters. If somebody I didn’t know came up and hugged me for no apparent reason I would most likely think they were either weird or drunk. For this reason I decided to do this particular experiment. Most of the people my friend hugged did not react in the way I predicted.

I decided to carry out the experiment at the Wal-Mart on Charleston and Decatur since it’s close to where we both live and it is never scarce in people. We enacted the experiment in different sections of the store since there were more dense amounts of people in certain areas. The areas where we performed the experiment were in the electronics department, the home decorations department, the food section, and the cash register section. The electronics department had plenty of people, males in particular, I was especially eager to see the feedback of the men in this section since my friend is a guy. The home decorations department had plenty of females; the food and cash register sections had a mixture of both genders.

The first person we approached was a male Wal-Mart sales associate arranging phone displays in the electronics department. We both went up to him and my friend asked him where the exercising equipment was located, he responded and pointed us in the direction, as I walked my friend thanked him and gave him a big bear hug. The sales associate let my friend hug him, patted his back, laughed, and starred at us in an awkward manner as we left. He didn’t have much reaction to my friend hugging him. It didn’t seem to have bothered him, as soon as we left he simply returned to his work.

The second encounter involved a man...
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