For this submission, you will write a journal entry after reflecting on a current sociological topic. Journal entries provide the writer with an opportunity to collect his or her thoughts and reflect in a less formal way than he or she would in a traditional essay.

Although a journal is not a traditional essay in format or tone, all of the elements necessary for good writing still apply, including attention to grammar, thorough proofreading and spelling checks, and presenting views in an organized paragraph structure.

You are not required to include a cover page, but if you refer to information from your textbook or other sources, be sure you provide in-text citations in accordance with APA requirements. Refer to the rubric to ensure that you address all of the requirements for the paper.

Assignment Details

As you learned in Unit 2, social norms are the established standards of behavior maintained by a society (Schaefer, 2018). Now that you have established a clear understanding of norms, you can begin to understand the concept of deviance. Deviance is a violation of a social norm.

Moreover, it is important to consider that established norms in society may be considered deviant in other cultures and vice versa. For example, do you eat your sandwiches with a knife and fork? Norwegians do. In Norway, eating anything with one’s hands is considered weird and even impolite. Contrast this with many Indian cultures that eat almost all foods with their fingers. Or what about planning a day at the beach. Did you pack your stockings? Women in 1920’s America could be arrested if their swimwear was too revealing. The evolved norm of wearing a bikini has changed the notion of deviant attire in our culture, but nudity on an American public beach will still likely get you outfitted with an orange jumpsuit – unlike other cultures that have the accepted practice of nude beaches.

Research norms found in other cultures or time periods that would be considered deviant in our culture today. Then break one of our society’s expected norms, by performing a behavior common in another culture or time period. *Please remember to perform a deviant behavior, not a criminal behavior*.

For this assignment, research norms found in other cultures that would be considered deviant in our culture today. Then, break one of American society’s expected norms by performing a behavior that is common in another culture or time period.

*Please remember to perform a deviant behavior, not a criminal behavior*.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Bowing instead of shaking hands
  • Invading the personal space of someone with whom you are talking
  • Slurping your food loudly
  • Riding in the front seat of a taxi
  • Avoiding making eye contact while speaking to someone
  • Dropping in on a neighbor you have never met for a visit
  • Teasing and hair-spraying your hair excessively
  • Wearing a minimum of four layers of clothing – for women
  • Wearing shoes with a noticeable heel and/or donning a long-haired wig – for men

Interpretation and Reflection

In a 1–2-page paper, address the following questions:

  • What norm did you break, and where (or when) is this behavior considered normal?
  • How did breaking this social norm make you feel? How did people react to you?
  • How do norms contribute to the concept of conformity and social control?
  • What is the relationship between deviance and crime? Discuss why certain acts are formally discouraged by laws while other behaviors are simply informally discouraged but not illegal.
  • In your opinion, if someone commits a deviant act but no one is around to see it, is it still deviant?

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