Social Norms

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Social norms define the appropriate values and beliefs that people follow in respect to their behavior and attitude towards a particular aspect. Notably, our behaviors lead us into certain actions. For instance, when watching a television at home alone or with friends, one may choose to watch shows that are to some extent violating the social norms. These may include: an adult watching kids’ shows, men watching women shows and vice versa as well as watching hip hop videos if you like country music. These are some of the behaviors that we engage in and that violate social norms.

Engaging in something that does not fit you evokes personal emotions. For instance, an adult watching kid’s videos may affect your sense of reasoning. You may take certain actions as folly because they are nor within your age. Your mental thinking is far beyond that. This is the same case when a man watches women videos. It may result into physical responses such as attraction to the opposite sex which occurs naturally (Ullmann, 1977). This is the same case when a woman watches men videos. The same is true if you your watch something that does not fit you within a given context. Nevertheless, one tends to discover something new related to the culture of the characters in the videos.

In case one is watching such videos with others, it is easy to observe their reactions as they evoke diverse feelings towards the cultural differences (Hechter, 2001). As I watched the videos with my friends, I noted that they expressed different reactions. However, some reactions were positive as they were interested in new discoveries.

Violating social norms is sometimes justified. Human beings are always curious to expand their knowledge. For this reason, a man may prefer to watch women videos. In this case, I preferred to watch such videos in order to have a greater understanding of all genders and ages. Although there are negative repercussions of such actions, it is sometimes vital to know what happens to others despite differences in gender and ages.

There were two social norms that I violated. These included: watching women and children videos as well as wearing unusual clothes. It was possible to violate these norms by watching “unfit shows” because my culture did not clearly define what should be watched and what should not. The second violation was also possible as our culture do not prohibit wearing certain type of cloths (Ullmann, 1977). One has freedom to wear what you deem right or comfortable with. Therefore, I felt comfortable to engage in these behaviors as I did not feel threatened. Although I knew i was engaging in an activity that was not socially allowed, I knew no one had the right to question me. I had a deep feeling that I was living in a free society.

Such violations evoked various emotions to others. Before watching the videos, we were unaware of other’s behaviors especially those related to our culture. Sometimes, we thought that women or men could not behave in a certain way. For example, wear certain clothes. On the other hand, some people were stunned by my new behavior of wearing unusual clothes. Some openly criticized me. However, as we watched the videos, we learnt that everyone is susceptible to adopt a given behavior. This results in violation of social norms (Hechter, 2001). At the end, our attitude towards other people regardless of age or sex was changed.

The experience of violating the norms had great impact on me. It had great power as it changed my attitude as well as my understanding. As I watched the videos with my friends who did not “fit in” I observed their reactions as some were perplexed with our culture (Ullmann, 1977). Some highly criticized our culture; some concluded that our culture is good while other considered it as being “handicapped”.

In conclusion, it is evident that when we violate unwritten rules for a given appropriate social behavior, we tend to learn surprising power associated new culture. This might be in form of invisible social norms. As i watched these videos, I realized that there was a certain power that was changing my feelings, attitude as well as behavior. This was the same case with my friends as they reacted differently to the new norms.

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