Breaching Experiment Paper

 Description The point of this exercise is to breach a norm that is not normally broken. Take a common activity, and alter it slightly. While norms can be individually specific, you must break a social norm, preferably a folkway. This SHOULD NOT include breaking any laws or major mores. In fact, the more common the activity, the better the effect will be upon those observing you. While this exercise is meant to be entertaining as well as educational, students are expected to act in a responsible and mature manner during the course of the assignment. While you may conduct your breach on campus, do not disrupt any classes. The exercise is to be done in groups of 3-4 persons. While one person performs the breach, the others are to observe and record the reactions of others. Do so without affecting the breach or the people you are observing. You need to be removed from the event to some degree. Each person should do the breach exercise at least once, possibly twice, so as to have ample reactions from which to draw for your paper. As for the individual who is engaged in the exercise, remember that you must maintain yourself as though you are doing nothing wrong and that your actions are completely acceptable. Do not inform anyone that this is an experiment. Do not attempt to offer any explanation for your actions. This includes responding politely to those who speak with you, etc. Don’t act crazy!!! As you analyze this experience, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions: –Which breach did you conduct? –How did it feel to be the violator? –Who were the other participants? –What were their reactions? When you write the paper, you will be take a position concerning a concept or theory discussed in class or in the readings. Then, using the reactions of others who witnessed your breach, you will support or challenge the concept or theory. You are expected to draw from the readings, lectures, and discussions in your paper. This is a normal academic paper, which includes an intro, body, and conclusion as follows: Introduction Questions to answer include: what are norms? What are they for? What do they give to individuals and to society? What happens when they are breached? Why do people care? Then, give us the purpose of the experiment and of the paper. What you did Please explain the norm that you breached, and show what the typical fulfillment of the norm looks like in our society. Then, briefly summarize the reactions you received (you should not talk about them individually yet—just a brief summary of them all). Interpretation In this section, you will look for patterns of reactions in your experiment, and in your group members.’ How did women tend to respond? Men? Older people? Younger? How did ethnicity or culture seem to affect the reactions of those around you? How did your own characteristics govern how your behavior was received? You will want to look at reactions in the context of socialization, and think of how each group has been socialized to respond to your behavior. Theoretical Analysis You will want to pick two or more theories from our course to explain how and why you performed, and others responded to your breach. This is NOT the time to include as many terms as you can from the course; instead, select two theories, explain how they work in detail, and then apply them to specific examples from your experiment. You can draw on any group member’s experience in writing this part, and show how the theory operates in these experiences. Some good theories to include in this part come from our social psychology chapter, chapter 4. Conclusion So, the big question is….did people notice your breach? Why do even mild modifications of “normal” behavior bother people? You will want to include the “taken for granted view” in your overall analysis of this experience.

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