Norm Violation Essay Sample
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Introduction of TOPIC
For this assignment, the norm that I will break is invading personal space. Having personal space is a norm because people do not like to have other people excessively close to them. It makes them uncomfortable. Most people consider someone that they don’t know walking or sitting very closely to them as very discomforting. It is essentially an unspoken rule that you must give people their personal space, at least around a foot. In order to violate this norm, I will get very close to everyone I encounter today, regardless of who they are. I expect this to make those people very uncomfortable. I expect that all or nearly all of the reactions I will receive will be negative. For the people that I have never met, I expect them to possibly use profanity. For the people that I do know, I expect them to give me weird looks and ask what I’m doing. If I choose to walk very closely to someone, I expect them to walk away quickly. If I choose to sit at the same couch/bench as someone, I expect them to get up and walk away within a few moments.
I expect the major reaction I will receive to be that people will give me dirty looks and attempt to increase their
distance from me. This norm violation is taking place on campus between classes. I pass by a lot of
I also thought about how I would react if someone had done the same thing to me. In reflection, I would definitely walk away if I did not know the person. Some people did not have any reaction. That could indicate that they were used to people being close to them, their conception of personal space was far greater than I got, or some other reason. However, a great majority reacted the way that I hypothesized. I expected that people would increase their distance and have a negative reaction, which they did. Nearly all of the people I chose to experiment on walked away and gave me a dirty look. I did not encounter any difficulties in carrying out this assignment. I believe that personal space was not always a norm. I think that it somehow became one over time. If people are friends, family, or intimate, it is absolutely okay for them to be close to each other and/or touching. If that was always the case, something must have happened in order for it to be considered bad or wrong for people that did not fit into those three categories with each other to be in what they consider their personal spaces.