Rule Enforcement Without Visible Means

1472 Words6 Pages
The World of Car Salesmen Aydin Parsa Mehr CCD Numerous studies have been conducted on the subject of unenforced rules and their role in a social group. This paper explores the unwritten rules and behaviors of luxury car salesmen. These rules are not enforced by any means and the behavior originated by these hidden rules was the main focus of this paper. This research was conducted as a replication of the research done by Theodore Caplow published in Rule Enforcement without Visible Means: Christmas Gift Giving in Middletown to show all social groups and roles have invisible rules which most members conform to and obey. A sample of 20 people was chosen from 84 salesman. The sample size averaged a car selling experience…show more content…
The walking towards a desk or car lot is a routine taught by their training, it implies progress in the minds of the customer. In some interactions where children were present, they were hesitant to follow the salesmen on their own; this behavior was then corrected by their parents. It was interesting to see little to no parental behavior from the customers as they were busy partaking another role in that moment. Most children roamed around freely however they were called or looked after if they cried or yelled. The following of the salesman was an interesting behavior as there was no reason to follow them; in the two exception cases, one customer stopped which in turn stopped the salesmen and in the other the customer declined walking with the salesman. Following someone while telling them something showed they wanted to be engaged in the social interaction. The next paragraphs will talk about some unspoken rules for…show more content…
Although they are told to joke around and be happy, most salesmen refuse to joke about money or any situation. In 2 of the interactions, the salesmen laughed and nodded to the jokes made by the customer with no response. In 4 of the interactions the salesmen made general jokes aimed towards a broad range of people such as car manufactures to conform to this rule. I interviewed 15 of the 20 people regarding this rule and they were unaware that it existed. It is important to note that older salesmen are exempt from this rule; in 6 interactions observed the older salesmen frequently joked about one’s older car, financial situation which was then followed by laughter and a seemingly positive reaction from the customer. It was unclear to me as why the older salesmen can joke about sensitive topics while the younger salesmen actively refused this behavior. Not conforming to this rule usually causes a significant amount of social anxiety and awkwardness between the two parties which is not usually

More about Rule Enforcement Without Visible Means

Open Document