7th Grade Social Norm Activity

Name:_______________________________________________ Homeroom:____________
Culture and Society - Assessment
Due: Tuesday January 31
Breaking a Social Norm
In our discussion on Culture, we have learned about social norms.
Our society functions on people following social norms. – the organization of our society hinges on the mere fact that
people do this. Anytime there is a break down in our society – it is a result of violation of social norms. If people in our
society did not follow social norms – chaos would reign.
The three principles associated with social norms:
1. Anxiety ordinarily prevents us from breaking social norms. (Fear what others think)
2. We have a powerful need to justify our actions after having violating a norm.
3. The power of what just happened on our feelings and behavior is immense.
DIRECTIONS for this assignment:
Break a social norm.
Prior to doing any of these, you must interview one of your parents. You must ask them if it is OK that you do this as
well as ask them what they think will happen.
Examples of ideas:
 Face the rear of an elevator with passengers in it
 Skip, instead of walk through a store
 Invade a friend’s personal space (in an appropriate way)
 Do something that your age group is not considered “normal”
 Challenge the gender roles (clothes, sports, styles, etc.)
*********I understand that this assignment may cause great anxiety for some people. I still would like for you to try it,
but if you cannot follow through, that is OK. Instead, complete one of the following:
 Describe an experience in which you witnessed someone else violate a social norm.
 Describe an experience in which you violated a social norm.
 Imagine if you were to violate a social norm.
DISCLAIMER - - - - Please remember that this is just a school assignment. Its purpose is to get you to think about social norms and the
importance that following them has on the everyday functions of society. Please do not do anything that has the potential
to cause harm, distress, or embarrassment to you, your family, myself, this school, or even anyone that you do not even
know! In all seriousness, THINK BEFORE you ACT. Do NOT use this assignment as an excuse to do something rude,
illegal, or just plain ignorant. For that reason, this assignment will not be done at school and is to be done outside of
school. Again, you need permission from your parents to complete the breaking of a social norm assignment.
Otherwise, you are to complete one of the 3 alternative assignments.
Permission Slip (to be turned in with final assignment)
I ____________________________________
I can participate in the Experiment
______________________________________________ Parent Signature
I cannot participate
________________ Date
1. Each of the following parts should be approximately one paragraph, 5-7 sentences.
2. This paper is to be typed, double-spaced, and in Times New Roman Font 12 or Calibri 11.
Procedure :
Part 1: Write a summary to either conducting the “experiment” or one of the three other options.
a. The date and approximate time of the experiment (if you can)
b. Describe the setting
c. Who was there, what happened….
Part 2: Write a personal response to above scenario that you experienced. How did you feel? Did you experience any
anxiety? How did the other people effected by your experiment react and feel? Did you feel the need to justify your
actions? If no, explain why.
Part 3: Interview a parent (discuss the importance of social norms – any memories of social norms being violated?)
Part 4: Determine the importance of social norms: Why are they important? Why do we follow them?
To exceed this assignment, by simply going out and breaking a social norm, that alone is exceeding the standard. If you
decide to do the other three options, then you will simply meet the standard. Let me be clear though, I do not want you to
break a social norm if you do not feel comfortable doing it. This is just one standard out of many cultural standards we
will be assessed in Social Studies 3rd quarter, so do not feel pressured to do this one, there will be more opportunities to
exceed the standard throughout this quarter and next.
Exceeds (E)
Student has met all the
requirements per standard for
mastery and has answered
correctly and thoroughly all the
parts in the exceeding the
standard questions.
Meets ______
Meets the Standard (M)
Student has demonstrated and
provided enough support and
evidence through their answers
to show a complete
understanding of the core
concepts and standards
Improving _____
Does Not Meet ________
Improving (I)
Does Not Meet (N)
Student has demonstrated a
partial understanding of the
Standard but still needs
more practice in order to
master it. Key concepts were
missed or not fully explained
in your answers.
The student shows no or little signs
of grasping the concepts connected
to the Standard. Most of the
questions are missed and answers
lack support. Student must see the
teacher to discuss concerns.
_______ Quality of Work: Final product is neatly done with appropriate font, spacing, and all parts have been
_______ Timeliness