Norm Breaking Research Paper: Wearing a Suit and Having Lunch at a Casual Restaurant
Human beings are social creatures who interact with one another in different places. Starting from the marketplace, church, mosque, restaurants and many other social places in the world. Norms influence human behaviour and the reactions of norm breaking have not been well investigated to determine how people feel when they see their norms are broken. The systematic events that occur during norm breaking have not been recorded to show the real situation of norm breaking. Human conflicts are solved through social norms, and they act as a reference point for judgment. Most people have experienced their norms overridden, and this causes too much anger which leads to hatred and low self-esteem. Ellickson clearly shows that norms are very important in the society, and they have faced revolutionary changes (Ellickson 1991). This paper will investigate the events that take place when a norm is broken in the society. The researcher will use dressing style as the way of breaking norms. Suits are often worn to the official places and functions, while casual clothes are worn to causal places and functions
The norm of putting on suits to official places and official dinners has always been since civilization. I wore a suit to a casual restaurant where most of the people wear casual clothes to go and have fun and dinner. It is the norm for people to put on casual clothes when going out for supper or dinner to the casual restaurants. The causal restaurants are a common place for people who are in the low class group. According to the research, the majority of casual restaurant customers does not wear suits to the restaurants because most of the people who go to the casual restaurants are from the lower class. In the United States, the low class is characterized by semi or unskilled labour and they work in places where there is low pay, no job security, no medical advantages, and no good housing. About 15 percent of the American population is classified as lower class. Their income is about $20,000 that they make sure they manage so as to continue living. The stratification system looks at the classes of people. Using Marx’s perspective class is defined as ownership and non-ownership of properties. The high-class people are the ones classified under owners, and the lower class is classified under non-owners. The casual restaurant is the one for the non-owners because the owners have lunch from five star hotels (Wilson & Kniffin 46).
The classes come into place in relation to ownership and the level of control. The high class controls big portions, and they are the controllers of production. The second class owns little or no ownership, but their occupation facilitates their improvement, and they are called the middle class which is the majority in the country. Distribution of resources follows the classes; lower class gets the least resources while the upper class enjoys the largest share. The reward system also gives the largest share to the upper class and leaves the lower class with minimal rewards. It is evident that the rich continue to grow richer while the poor continue to grow poorer.
Code of dressing of a place is a norm that most people have and it is not easy to break it over a short period. Most people view dressing as one of the ways of communication. For example, during corporate meetings people dress officially in a suit and tie. When people go to the beach, they dress in swimming costumes or they put on shorts and T-shirts. The norm of dressing also changes from one place to the other. People from Asia they have their way of dressing and western people also have different ways of dressing. People can be classified on the way they are dressed, but it is not a guarantee that one is going to a corporate meeting when dressed in a suit.
When I came out of my car that I had parked in front of the restaurant, a couple walked by me and they looked at me with a friendly sight. According to the norms, nobody packs outside the restaurant and comes out of the car dressed in a suit. The action was quite different from the expectations of people. People have always seen men and women putting on casual to the restaurant, and this restaurant was well known as a casual restaurant. The first encounter was with a couple that walked by m. they both saw me. The look by the couple was very suggestive, and it made me feel like the most handsome and well-dressed man. The suggestive look boosted my esteem, although in my mind, I had a feeling that there may be both positive and negative encounters (Ellickson 67).
My encounter with new experiences was with mixed results because I received different reactions from different people. The first couple whom I encountered when entering into the restaurant was very happy seeing me in a suit, and they particularly admired the way the suit fitted me. During the whole exercise, I remained in the restaurant; I did not feel any anger towards the people who were judging me in the restaurant.
Getting inside the restaurant, I saw a waitress who was standing in front of the counter looking at me with a big smile and a warm welcome into the restaurant. The waitress was doing her job, and it was not easy to tell whether the smile was for welcoming or she smiled because I was in a suit. In my heart, I felt welcome and proceeded to look for a place to sit. The restaurant had a handful of customers who were taking their lunch at that time. Looking around in the restaurant I saw two Chinese girls sitting near to the kitchen, they were putting on black shirts with the same patterns and as they looked at me; they started to whisper. The two girls kept on looking towards my side for some time. I felt they were talking and discussing me. I could not understand what they were talking about because they were speaking in Chinese. Although, I couldn’t understand their language I felt they were speaking about me. I was irritated because I could not understand the communication between the two of them and I had already known that I was the centre of the talk (Tangney et al 78).
Adjacent to the Chinese girls was a couple with a white person in a white shirt with a sport shorts. The man looked at me with a mocking eyes and talking with a lady. The woman was putting on a Hawaii Style dress, after a short conversation with a man she turned to peep at me. This was the first time when I felt like an alien in the restaurant. Their look communicated a lot, and they made me feel out of place completely, they were talking about my attire.
At the other side of the door, a young black lady was seated there with her baby. She was putting on a white polo and casual shorts. The lady looked at me for a number of times while she was feeding her child. The continual look at me made me feel uncomfortable in a place I was sitting. Very many questions were running in my head, and I didn’t know how to respond to the reactions from the people.
The moment of ordering the for my dishes the a waiter walked by me and she exclaimed on seeing me and complemented me on how my suit looked good on me. After ordering for the food I chose a table nearing the counter, and I sat down. Examining the statement met by the waiter I found out that the statement had a different meaning from what the waiter was meaning. The waiter wanted to remind me that I was wearing a suit, although it was very hot inside the restaurant. I took the front seat at the restaurant because I needed a vantage point to see the reaction of each person in the restaurant.
The waiter who served me did it with passion, and when she was placing the dishes on the table, she did it with a lot of enthusiasm. The lady continued an to use an official language when communicating with me. The waiter treated me with respect and high-grade honour. The waitress made me feel good and have more confidence. She respected the way I was dressed and probably thought that I was one of the rich people in the society. The kindness of the waiter to me reflected on me the existence of exclusion in the society. High-class people with good cars seldom go for lunch in casual restaurants, and the waiter was astonished to see me.
Social exclusion leads to the exclusion of other people from the society. The wealthy people stay in wealthy places and cannot mix with the lower class in their places of entertainment. Casual restaurants are composed with people from the lower class and workers of the low class. The waiter kept on calling me sir to show me that she was honoured to serve me in the restaurant. Exclusion of other people from the society leads to the development of negative activities in the society like social crimes (Cartwright 35).
During the exercise, I became the centre of focus of too many people and my dressing style became the source of people’s talk in the restaurant. I felt great because some of the people as the waitress served me with great respect. The waitress noticed that I was the only person who was putting on a suit and the restaurant was known as a casual place. The way the waitress welcomed me was different from the other customers who came to the restaurant. The other customers keenly watched the way she was serving me. They are used to the casual way of serving people, whereby the waiter does not mind how to serve them. The nice experience with the waitress is one the factors that contributes to the breaking of the norm of casual wearing. Most people present admired the way I was, served, and they were ready to change and put on suits to receive the same treatment as mine.
Several people continued to come inside the restaurant, and almost all of them recognized my presence. An Asian girl wearing a Chanel bag and a skirt came into the restaurant and sat beside me. She looked at me strangely eyes from time to time. I felt that I did not belong to the place. To respond to the strange eyes looking at me, I smiled to the woman expecting her to smile, but to my disappointment she ignored and I felt heartbroken (Cartwright 35).
Disappointments continued to befall on me because most of the people looked at me differently. Lastly, a number of people walked in the restaurant among them a Filipino who came towards my seat and sat near me. They changed their conversation and spoke while looking at me. It was possible for me to attract the attention of all the people in the restaurant and break change their topic of discussion through norm breaking. The behaviour of the people was the same from the expected, people wondered on the new advancements and the broken norms. The population did not expect to have an individual dressed in a suit in the restaurant. Putting on a suit during the time was not an obligation for anybody during the time.
Breaking the norm brought both diversification and happiness because of the different encounters from different people. At first, I felt embarrassed because people were looking at me, and I always taught that the people looking at me were thinking negatively. The social behaviour of the American people can be grouped economically through dividing the population into three tiers. People in the area of my norm breaking also fall in the three tiers. The lower tier of the population is characterized by low income, low self-esteem, and a low production rate.
The research was designed in breaking the norms of the people. Breaking the norm is not an instant thing, breaking the norm requires persistence. Dressing in a suit to the restaurant will be the new norm that will replace the casual way that is in place at the moment. According to the information that I got from the field through the research confederate, the Asian girls commented on my dressing style, and they said I was so handsome in a suit but their worry was the temperatures out. The white couple commented that when they saw me they started to sweat. She also heard the Filipinos saying that I was funny and looked like a fool because I wore a suit and outside were 100 degrees hot.
The comments of the concerning wearing a suit did not arise because of the social class but because of the weather. There are possibilities that people put on clothes because of the climate. The casual wear is appropriate for hot temperatures because most of the casual clothes are light and loose. A suit is compact, and the jacket retains a lot of no heat inside causing the body to sweat. The people who stared at me were feeling pity for me because they thought I was under a punishment from my own clothes. Although I looked good in a suit, people could not change their dressing style to suits on a hot sunny day.
From the observations, the restaurant had a diversity of people from different places. American diversity attracts a number of issues one of the dangerous issue of diversity is racism. Racism is the biggest problem among the American populations. Racism leads to marginalization of other, people, and it leads to lack of production by the group that is affected by racism in a negative way.
The restaurant was dominated with waitresses, and they were paid to do their job. A number of the women in the society are many than the number of men. Women are often a source of change in the society because they are easy to change. Norm-breaking events attract varying reactions from people with regard to the gender. According to Daly and Wilson 1998, males are more violent that female. There are high chances of a man to start violence when an individual breaks the norms in place. Women will be irritated by the act, but they will not provoke violence. The society setting has both female and male they may be having differences, but norms bring them together. Both men and women are essential in the family, and they are essential in the economic growth of the family and the country. Economic health and emotional health depend on one another. Feminist theory explains the importance of a woman in the family. Feminist theory states that sexism and economic oppression are reinforcing one another. Feminist theory is characterized by the exploitation of unpaid labour in the home; a woman in the house is entitled to pay if she rendered services in the home for pay. The theory discusses the conflict between adult partners. The women are important in the society, and they are essential in breaking the norms of the community (Cosmides & Tooby 34).
In conclusion, norm breaking takes a series of events to become effective in a society. Most societies have the tendency of adapting to changes in a very slow manner. The norm of the society depends on the nature of the community. Before determining the time that the norm will take to change we have to define the nature of the society. Rich societies take long to adapt to a certain norm and poor societies adapt to the norms easily (Wilson, & Kniffin 45). The rich community is content with what they own while the poor family want to explore new methods of generating income or of changing their life. Wearing a suit to a casual restaurant is not a common practice to many casual workers. Most casual restaurants’ customers are people from the lower class. The norm of poor people feeding together should be changed and we have poor people mixing with rich people to increase the economy through discussions and empowerments. Excluding other people from the society and putting them in marginalized areas does not make people selfish but it also causes divisions.
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