Sociology 101 Social Norms

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Harry Patel 9/03/2008 Sociology 101, section 8 Social Norms: Conformity and Deviance One of the norms I broke was talking to someone in a public bathroom, while peeing. It was very ocward talking to the guy next to me. One of the reason I felt ocward talking to him was because, you are not suppose to talk to the guy next to you. While you are doing your business you look at the wall in front of you. When you are done you wash your hands, and leave. No one talks to anyone they don’t know, even if they do know the person next to them they won’t talk to them while they are peeing. No one was taught to do this, you learned by observing. But when the guy next to you starts talking you don’t know how to react. That’s how the guy next to me reacted. First of all this field stimulation took place in AMC Theater bathroom, right after the movie Eagle Eye finished. My prediction before starting the field stimulation was that no one will talk to me and pretend they didn’t hear me. When I enter the bathroom there were few people in the bathroom all the urinal were full because I had to do the field stimulation I waited for one of the urinals to open up. While I was waiting for the urinals to open up I didn’t want to do the field stimulation. The reason I didn’t want to do it was because there were lots of people in the bathroom, and I didn’t want anyone to get mad at me. One of the guy finished and stepped away from the urinal washed his hand and, like what you are suppose, to do he didn’t talk to anyone. I walked over to the open urinal and started doing my business. The guy next to me was done and walked away, right when I got there. This guy in his late 20’s started using the urinal next to me. I didn’t know what to say at first. I was thinking about just saying Hi. I couldn’t get myself to say it, but finally very scared and nervous I said hi. I don’t know if he heard me or not, but he didn’t say anything. So I got even more nervous. I said it even louder hi. He gave me a wired look and said hi. I looked at his face right after and he had a confused look on his face. I think he was thinking do I know this guy. When he figured out I didn’t know who he was I might of asked himself, why is he talking to me? I had to keep the conversation going; I knew he wasn’t going to say anything. So I asked him, what movie did you see? Gave me a very short answer and said I’m going to go see a movie. This time he didn’t look at me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ask him another question. I didn’t look at his face reaction, so I wasn’t sure if he was getting annoyed. I didn’t have much time to think so I asked him, what movie? He said Eagle Eye. This time he sounded annoyed so I didn’t want to ask him anything else. Another reason I didn’t want to ask him anything was because I was done with my business. I walked away from the urinal, washed and dried my hands, and left the men bathroom. I was waiting for my friend outside the bathroom. The guy that was in the bathroom came right after me. It looked like he was waiting for someone as well. Just because he sounded annoyed, I walked up to him. From

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looking at his face expression he thought there was something wrong with me at first. Then I told him that I was doing this for a class. He thought it was a strange project to do. I told him we had to pick a social norm and break that social norm, which made more sense to him. Another reason why I wanted to talk to him because I wanted to know what was going through his head when I was talking to him. He told me that when I first said hi he heard me but he thought I was talking through a Bluetooth headset, because no one really talks to each other in the bathroom. I asked him another question, why were your answer so short? He said he felt very uncomfortable talking while peeing and that’s why his answers were short. When I was at...
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