Sidewalk Etiquette

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Sidewalk etiquette is a social behavior that is not taught or enforced like the law, but is rather learned through observation. Goffman often compared etiquette to driving a car. For example; pedestrian traffic is always divided into two or more lanes. One lane is for the slower walking people, one is for the faster walking people. Additional lines break up those people who are coming, and those who are going. Now taking a look at how we drive, it is the same. Slower traffic keeps right, while faster traffic can stay or pass on the left. There is also a line dividing the roadway for traffic coming one way, and going the other. I do believe that all cultures practice sidewalk etiquette. It may not be the same everywhere, but is still close. I think all cultures learn their etiquette the same way, by observation. From an early age all people begin to observe what others do around them. Often enough we then begin to do the same things we observe. Weither it be talking on the phone while driving, or stopping at the crosswalk waiting to cross. We all learn such behaviors from observing others actions around us. I myself practice sidewalk etiquette. I remember actively doing so in high school. Between classes was always busy with students everywhere. I always passed the slow walking students on the left. I found myself making eye contact with people on coming, and observing their body language to avoid collisions. Today I do not walk down the street as much as I did before. But I do still practice sidewalk etiquette at the mall, or even walking at the park. Once you start to think about it, we practice it a lot more than we think we do.
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