Students Break Social Norms

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Students Break Social Norms
By Jessica Liptak
How often are students told to do ridiculous
things in public? That isn’t considered
normal for a college class, but Intro to
Sociology SOC-2301-02 is no ordinary
class!
Dr. Alison Simons, Assistant Professor of
Sociology, had students wear outfits
breaking the social norm of a college student
(pictured above). Then the students were
asked to break social norms in public places.
For the in
class project,
some went
out of their
comfort level.
Including
males even
wearing
dresses!
Dr. Simmons explained why she had
students break social norms in public. “The
purpose of the experiment, hmmm! Well, it
is to show you the rules we live by every
day without even consciously being aware
of them. It demonstrates very effectively
how we all conform to society and how
difficult it is to go against societal norms,
even just a little. And it obviously amuses
your professor when you bring back the
stories!” said Dr. Simons.
For this University College Day session,
students explained the definition of social
norms and then shared stories of norms
which they broke. Some were humorous,
like wearing your undergarments on top of
your clothes and walking around downtown
Fort Worth.
However, others were
disappointing and convicting of how we
treat others if it is out of the social norm for
us.
Abbey Borghee, a sophomore political
science major, participated in leading this
session. As part of the class assignment,
Borghee broke a social norm by wearing a
hijab into a non-denominational church
service. Borghee said that she was
disappointed by the negative reactions she
received, hoping that the church members
would reach out to her.
“Upon many things, one thing that stood out
was the fact that no matter how far society
has come, so many people are still quick to
judge and are unwilling to look past the
physical in most cases,” said Borghee
This session was clearly a popular place to
be, the room was packed. Students and
professors filled every chair, sat on the floor,
and were standing in the hallway outside the
classroom door.
Jonathan Bravo, a sophomore exercise
science major, attended the University
College Day session on social norms.
Bravo said, “I learned a lot from this UCD
session. Being abnormal is something we try
to avoid, however I was reminded that it’s
not always a bad thing.”
This session was a fun time for all who
participated, whether they were presenting
or listening. All who took part were taught a
great lesson on social norms and how we let
them affect our lives everyday.
This session was a fun time for all who
participated, whether they were presenting
or listening. All who took part were taught a
great lesson on social norms and how we let
them affect our lives everyday.
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