Monday, June 16, 2008

Breaking social mores

It's midterms already. I am taking one course this semester--sociology--which is easy, and yet I resent it. I am still so traumatized from two semesters of nursing school, I don't want to do any work at all. Still, an entire week's assignment will be to read a single chapter in the text (about 30 pages, with many graphs and illustrations) and post once in the discussion board. Compared to nursing school, in which a single week included 16 hours of patient care in the hospital, a three hour lecture, a quiz, twelve hours of writing pathophysiology papers, drug analysis and care plans, plus reading assignments sometimes topping two hundred pages a week--and all that for just one class-- I have it easy over the summer.

So this week is the midterm. There is also a "writing assignment" looming. We have three choices for the writing assignment:
1. Watch some movie--can't remember which one, this option is the least interesting to me--and write about it.
2. Live for five days on the poverty food allowance of $4.50/day and then write about the experience.
3. Break a social more, three times for three "victims." Record the reaction of your victims and write about the experience.

I will probably end up doing option number two, but number three is intriguing too. I imagine myself flossing my teeth on the bus, say. Or, I could walk around with the back of my skirt tucked into my underwear. I could approach complete strangers and ask them how much they earn, yearly. I could roll down my car window at stoplights and talk to the people in the car next to me about random things. Have they read any good books lately? What are they planning to cook for dinner? I could hang around outside downtown restaurants and ask people if I could sample what they are eating. I could wear my hair in two little-girl pigtails with big pink bows.

If you had to break a social more and your goal was to make the biggest impact and get the biggest reaction from your victims without getting arrested, what would you do?


  1. Wow, #2 is going to be an interesting experiment. Will you do it just for yourself or have the whole family involved?

    As for #3, I don't know. It would be tempting to hang up on my MIL when she calls.

  2. Oh, that is fascinating. Social mores...sometimes just smiling and saying HI to everyone you meet is disruptive enough:)

  3. Breaking social mores in elevators and on buses seems to unnerve people the most.

  4. I would go to a public place like a grocery store or a park and walk up to all the moms and tell them how they could improve their parenting skills. Wait, maybe that's not really a social more, considering the large number of people who think this is perfectly acceptable behavior.

    I want to hear about which ever one you do.