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Why women shave this area but men do not.

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Sociology

 

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Experiment Paper
Ethnomethodology is a theoretical approach that attempts to
understand why people take specific actions. (How behavior
becomes habitual and reflexive.) Ethnomethodologists often
believe that you can discover the social structure of a society by
disrupting certain social norms and expectations. Many
ethnomethodological experiments disrupt social norms to see
how people respond and how they try to restore social order.
In this assignment, you will be asked to identify a social norm
that is related to gender, sex, or sexualities, and observe the
societal reaction when you violate this norm. You will be
required to take notes on your experiment and then write a
response paper (800-1000 words) on this experience. You will
need to incorporate at least three (3) concepts discussed in the
readings or lectures. You will turn in your paper (and notes) via
Blackboard by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, November 4, 2022.
The assignment must be uploaded as a word document or pdf
file.
Identifying a Social Norm
Based on your life experiences, course readings, class
discussions, and lectures you will identify a gendered
expectation in contemporary U.S. society. You will not only
describe this social norm but explain how social structures
(re)inforce the norm. For example, in the U.S. women are
expected to shave the area under their arms. The vast majority
of attractive” women represented in movies, on television, and
in advertisements have shaved the area under their arms. Many
mothers teach their daughters how to shave this area when they
reach puberty. Thus, the media and the family (social
institutions) teach us that women should engage in this gendered
behavior despite the fact that there is no physiological reason
why women shave this area but men do not.
Break the Social Norm
This is the fun part. After you have chosen a socially
constructed gender expectation, you need to disrupt the
norm. Do NOT engage in behavior that is illegal or
dangerous. In the body hair example, a woman might choose
not to shave the area under her arms and spend a day wearing a
sleeveless shirt. Spend at least 60 minutes breaking the norm.

 

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