Day 126: (Intentionally) break a social norm

January 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

In Sociology 101 as a college freshman, I was given the typical “break a social norm” assignment. Too insecure to actually embarrass myself in public, I made up a fake story about sitting down at other people’s tables in a mall food court and turned that in. I earned an A on the paper, but have ever since felt guilty that I didn’t actually do it.

So when I boarded one of the cars on the L this afternoon and found it empty except for a sleeping middle aged man, I decided this was my chance to make things right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it).

He had a thick mustache, was overweight and was wearing a puffy Bears coat. I sat down in the seat next to him, but he didn’t move. I wanted to look nonchalant when he finally woke up, so I pulled out a book and crossed my legs.

I kept peeking over at him, but he was out cold. The train went two more stops before another person got on the car. A larger crowd boarded on the following stop, and even more at the one after that.

When he finally woke up, the train car was so full that it looked like I had just grabbed an open seat. A few stops later he had to get off, and I was left alone.

Is it still considered breaking a social norm if it lacks the ‘social’ aspect?


P.S. – Thanks to everyone for the awesome article ideas. I am already looking into them and digging up sources!


§ 2 Responses to Day 126: (Intentionally) break a social norm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Day 126: (Intentionally) break a social norm at Novice Du Jour.


%d bloggers like this: