Violation of A Social Norm Essay

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Last Thursday, February 28th, I received a call from my high school college guidance counselor, Scott Hill, from Kansas City.   Hill informed me that he would be in New Orleans and at Tulane University the following day, and requested that I meet him at Bruff Commons for lunch.   While making my way to the dining hall, I recalled a class meeting that occurred over three years ago in which Hill stressed the importance of making direct eye contact while giving firm handshakes when interacting with administration and faculty during college visits. After arriving at Bruff, I spotted Hill, in addition to several other Tulane freshmen that graduated from my high school, but that I had never become formally acquainted with in the past. I immediately shook each person’s hand at the table while making direct eye contact with them. By following this social norm, I made a favorable impression upon Hill, as well as on all of my fellow Barstow graduates.
Later that evening, I decided to utilize the same norm, but in a much different setting, where such a social interaction could be considered a violation of an accepted normal behavior: Happy Hour at local college bar The Boot.   Invading a completely different Tulane culture, I managed to shake hands while making direct eye contact with as many people as possible in a twenty minute period. I introduced myself while applying this tactic to tables of people outside, a bouncer verifying my identification at the door, slightly inebriated students dancing to 80’s and 90’s classics inside, people waiting for their drinks in front of the bar, and finally to multiple bartenders behind the bar.
While having a strong handshake and making direct eye contact when introducing oneself is considered socially acceptable in an academic or professional setting, it is considered much less conventional in a leisure environment such as a bar, and I received a variety of responses, most of which were negative. Often times, the subjects, especially...

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