A Folkway in the Checkout Line

Topics: Sociology, Boy, Woman Pages: 2 (765 words) Published: December 17, 2011
As a member of my Principles of Sociology class, I was tasked to perform an experiment of a social norm violation. I pondered what sort of norm I should violate along with what venue I should perform it in. My wife offered to violate a norm herself, at a department store and that I could observe it while noting reactions of other shoppers, but I decided that her idea was a bit too mores and we should just experiment using folkway norm violations. My wife and I drove to Menards, a local home improvement store, to violate a social norm. At this point in time I still did not know what I was going to attempt to violate. As we are walking through the store I am considering my options. I decided that when we were checking out at the cash register, I would stand at the push end of the shopping cart and face the persons standing in line behind me. I had my wife stand at the front of the cart, so that as I needed to move forward in line, she could pull on the cart. I stood there casually as a gentleman, maybe in his mid-fifty’s, walked up with his cart. I casually turned the whole way around, to face his direction. The gentleman stood there looking around, from one side of my direction to the other. I kind of felt like I was a body guard or maybe some type of security blocking the line. My wife was talking to me nonchalant that she wanted to bring our lawnmower blade in from the car to match it up with new ones. I did not reply to what she was saying and all of a sudden the gentleman behind us, in front of me, said to her “I don’t think he heard you.” I just kept looking straight ahead of myself, not particularly at him, and said “she always wants to bring that blade into every store we go to.” I got the feeling that he was trying to divert my attention from facing his direction to turning around toward my wife. That was basically the end of this situation as I stood the same direction and he didn’t say anything else or look at me until my wife paid for our merchandise...
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