Norm Violation Paper
Soc. of Deviance
Violating Personal Space
There have been many social norms that society has “put” in place just to keep things as smooth and as un-awkward as possible. Everyday people follow these norms almost unconsciously. It is expected that every other person follow then them too. So, with this in mind, so my goal is to see how people react when I violate one of these norms.
The norm I chose to violate is something that everyone cherishes a lot greatly: his or her own personal space. My goal is was to see how people feel felt about me being in their personal space.
First, I tried my luck at one of the bus stops by my house. I stood at the bus stop and waited for someone else to show up and sit on the bench. Then I walked up and sat right next to them, touching close. This turned out to be very entertaining. For the most part, people were not comfortable with this at all. I received quite a few “what-the-hell-are-you-doing” looks. One person even pushed me away and almost fought me until I explained what I was doing. That said, my favorite encounter was with this older black woman. After, sitting right next to her she put her arm around me and said, “Now there ain’t nothing I love more then attention from a young handsome man.”
Next, after deciding I decided I would see how people standing in a line would react to me violating their space, so I went to various fast food restaurants to see. This is where the reactions were very minimal more discrete. While standing in line I would keep getting closer and closer to the person in front on me until I got some kind of reaction out of them. Most of the people would just step forward or to the side slide to avoid me without any other kind of reaction. Where the standing in lines seemed to be different then sitting on the bench is that the people in line were able to take one or two steps to protect their personal space.
So I had to find...