Social Norm Analysis

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I am by no means a perfect person and I will on occasion violate behavior that is considered normal or expected, occasionally on purpose, as is the case in this assignment. This is exactly what a norm is. It’s an “expectation of ‘right’ behavior” (Henslin, 2012, n.p) and these norms are the glue that holds the social institutions in our societies together. Until I started studying Sociology I had no idea how much I am affected by norms. From a simple breakfast with family to a late night binger with friends I can see how norms play a role in every situation in everyday life. That’s not to say that norms are universal because they certainly are not. Norms vary depending on the culture that you are in. For example, in certain European countries…show more content…
My dad and I went to the hometown buffet for lunch one day. There were plenty of norm violations at this place but the one that stood out the most is shocking and disturbing. I had to use the restroom so I politely excused myself and headed to the ladies’ room. As soon as I entered I was standing face to face with a heavyset disheveled woman with gravy stains on her shirt. She had apparently entered a few moments before I did. What was most striking about this was that she had an entire plate of food in her hand and was eating it. She greeted me with a hearty “Hello,” and I smiled and returned the greeting before escaping into a stall. Not twenty seconds later the stall next to me is occupied and I started getting scared. There are plenty of empty stalls. Nobody else had entered after I had. This means that the lady purposefully chose the stall next to mine. Much to my chagrin she started talking about how good the food at hometown buffet is. She offered me a piece of chicken and I could see the piece of chicken and her greased stained hand poking from under the one side of the stall. I kept thinking to myself, “I hope to God that she’s doing a norm violation paper right now or this is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.” I cannot begin to express how quickly I was out of that bathroom the second I saw that chicken leg greet me in that bathroom

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