Social Observation Paper

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I decided for my social observation the mall would be a good place to start. I came there on a Friday evening when there should be plenty of people to watch. I also sat in the Barnes and Noble café after that to observe. I expected to see a lot of people shopping and conversing. A few things did stand out to me within the few hours I was there. Some things I didn’t expect to see. We are expected to behave a certain way in public determined by our culture as to what is acceptable. Some people stay well within the lines while some might stray outside the norms but never too far typically. Usually the ones to travel to the extremes are adolescents and teenagers. This is what I observed.

As I sat in the chair near the entrance to Bergner’s I noticed a couple groups1 of kids, they looked like they were probably in 8th grade or near there. One group totaled six kids and you could tell who the leaders with high status2 were in the group. They displayed achieved status3 and walked in the middle typically with couple others following behind trying to keep up and stay in the conversation. I call it achieved status because they had more confidence and walked taller than the others, of course they could be from a rich family but from visual evidence achieved status seems to be the case here. The group seemed playful and was very pushy towards one another. While the leaders looked like they came out on top and were more dominant keeping the others in line, and sometimes ignoring the other members of the group, showing they weren’t impressed by them. Another Group was smaller with only three kids in it. These kids seemed like they had less energy and were more of wandering at a leisurely pace compared to the other group which was moving swiftly. Both groups walked by about three times, apparently they had nothing better to do with their time and weren’t shopping. I’m assuming they were probably dropped off by their parents to hang out at the mall with their...
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