Norm Violation Essay

1225 Words5 Pages
Violation of a Norm Social norms are defined as the accepted behaviors in a society or group (Norm 2011). Some social norms take the shape of laws or regulations while others are informal rules that one is expected followed (Norm 2011). Social norms vary by culture, region, gender, social status and many other factors. Some examples of social norms are shaking hands when you meet someone or after a sporting match, turning around to face the doors when you enter an elevator and wearing weather appropriate clothing. Groups have a powerful effect on the behavior of their members through norms. We are more likely to be influenced by the norms of groups that we strongly identify with or a group that is important to our self-concept (Jetten, Spears & Manstead, 1997; Moreland and Levine, 2001). Social norms cause people to change their attitudes or behavior to conform and adhere to the norm (Baron, Branscombe & Byrne, 2008). When people violate social norms the consequences can range from disapproval of others in the group to being kicked out of that group because not following social norms makes people’s behavior unpredictable which can be potentially dangerous to the group or society (Baron, Branscombe & Byrne, 2008). Social norms are constantly changing and for the most part people follow them or only break ones that don’t threaten the entire group. I decided to break a social norm on the bus. Normally when one takes the RTD bus, they choose a seat and stay in that seat for the rest of the ride until their stop. I decided I would change seats at every stop without getting off the bus. I did this on my way school and on the way home for two different routes over two days. The people riding the bus were the witnesses. People either stared or acted extremely uncomfortable and turned away. The people that stared either appeared to be figuring out if I was being funny
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