“Social Norm Violation”-Liz Ammons

Social norms are behaviors that are expected within society. When these behaviors are demonstrated in public people look on them with acceptance and satisfaction. When they are not people get confused and become annoyed.

I violated a social norm by dressing up in a skirt, nice blouse, and nice dress shoes, instead of active wear,  and going for a run at the BYU indoor track. I headed over to the indoor track early in the evening and, carrying my purse with me, ran around the track. Lucky for me, there was a basketball sports camp going on at that moment, with hundreds of kids and dozens of BYU basketball players and coaches. As I ran around the track in my dressy outfit and carrying my purse, I got very strange looks and a few laughs. It was very uncomfortable and I could not help but laugh at how ridiculous I must have looked and at how I felt, which was very uncomfortable.

That was my experience violating a social norm.

Liz Ammons

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  1. #1 by ryanturner1989 on June 7, 2012 - 6:53 PM

    I agree completely with your definition of how people feel when social norms are not kept: “people get confused and become annoyed”. Running around the track in your attire must have been difficult, both physically – due to the high heels – and emotionally – due to the norm violation. No wonder there is a norm of wearing different clothing for different events – dresses and high heels for prom dance, and shorts and tennis shoes for track meets. Although I’d like to comfort you with the Spotlight Effect (the overestimation of how much others notice our presence and behavior), I don’t think that there was anyone at the track that day that DIDN’T notice you. Sorry. 😦 But, well done, Liz, well done!

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