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At your next online (skype, zoom, facetime, etc.) meeting with friends, break a social norm of
some type. Some examples: dress very formally (a tux, a ball gown), dress in female clothes if
you identify as male or vice versa, talk very loudly, keep talking out of turn, etc. Caution: do
NOT do anything illegal or anything that causes anyone psychological or emotional pain. But,
try to be creative and come up with something different. Continue to interact with others during
the online meeting as if nothing is amiss.
Having group social events online via technologies such as zoom and skype has become
immensely popular (indeed even a necessity for many) in the current covid-19 world. The point
of this exercise is twofold: (1) to discover the norms of this rapidly normalizing form of
interaction and (2) to evaluate how norms guide our behaviors all the time without us necessarily
being aware of their effect. Accordingly, answer the following questions (use materials from
Modules 1-2 to guide your responses). Respond to these first two questions prior to violating the
The assignment should be written in essay form. Please use a word processor and double
spacing. The complete assignment should be between 500 and 1,000 words.
(1) Before you break the norm, describe the norm you will break. Briefly explain how this
norm acts as a mechanism of social control. Describe the range of possible reactions
others will have to the violation of this norm and your prediction of the major reaction.
(2) Explain why this is a norm in online social meetings. Is this norm unique to online
meetings or is it also prevalent in face to face interactions?
(3) Did you experience sanctions once you broke the norm? Were the sanctions subtle or
explicit punishments? Describe the sanctions (if any). Explain why you experienced or
did not experience any sanctions.
(4) Describe your feelings when you violated the norm. Why do you imagine you felt the
way you did? Did people react the way you expected? Explain.
(5) How does conforming to and violating social norms, generally, fit into the lifelong
process of socialization? Explain how interacting online in this way entails a process of