Breaking a Norm

Essay by vkatwa1University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

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People have their own beliefs and philosophies on what they consider valuable. Every person develops expectations, of what they consider proper. Sociologists call such expectations, norms, rules of behavior that develop out of group's values (Henslin, 2002, P. 45). The norm I chose to break, was the norm of eating certain foods with utensils. On one Saturday evening, I went to a restaurant called Olive Garden. I was dressed properly, and looked well suited for the restaurant standards. I ordered my food from the menu. I ordered a vegetable soup and alfredo fettuccini. Once I got my meal, I took the utensils wrapped in a napkin and put them aside. I started eating with my bare hands, and drank the soup straight from the bowl. While I was doing this, I wanted to see how the people around me would react. Thus, I would make slurping noises while drinking my soup, so I can get people's attention.

Also, I would cough really ostentatiously to get people attention while I was eating my pasta and drinking the soup! I wanted to see how people react at different locations. Therefore, I first went to Olive Garden, and then went to a local low profiled restaurant, later that night, called Silver Lake. I elected to break this norm because, I wanted to know how essential eating certain foods with utensils are to people. Moreover, I wanted to see the confines to which others would react if they saw the norms of eating certain foods with utensils being encroached. Also, to see how different cultures and different backgrounds would react to my behavior.

To start with, I was nervous as it is; going to a restaurant and eating with my bare hands. I had no clue what to expect, but I had...