Soc. 340 Sociology of Deviance – Breaching Experiment Paper Assignment

Your task for this assignment is to go out and commit a deviant act. This act WILL NOT involve any criminal activity. You might face the wrong direction in an elevator, stand in 10-item checkout line at the grocery with a full cart, bargain or negotiate prices to get into the theater or for groceries, etc. Use your imagination!

While committing your deviant act, notice the reaction of those around you, the circumstances that your act takes place in, and any other changes in your immediate environment that comes from your act. Make notes as soon as possible to avoid forgetting any details.

After completing your deviancy, write a MINIMUM of 12 pages that should include the following areas:
1) An Introduction section to explain why you chose your deviant behavior and how you think society has come to view that behavior as deviant. Include a hypothesis statement or research question that is guiding your experiment.
2) A Theory/Lit. Review section that you feel explains your deviance and why people might react in a given manner. Be sure to give a brief synopsis of the theory as if I have never heard of it. You should also find two articles in research journals that address the type of deviance you are performing, summarize their theories and findings, and relate them to your act. I provide a link to Jstor on blackboard that makes it possible to find these journal articles at home online.
3) The next section should be a Methods section. This should include how you designed your experiment, the target audience, where you performed it, and how you intend to measure people’s reactions.
4) The Analysis section should include how you noticed the reactions of others and what those reactions were. Describe how your act is deviant from social norms (folkways or mores) using examples from your observations. You should also integrate your theory into this analysis; again you may use specific examples.
5) The Conclusion is not just a “wrap-up” section, but ties the whole paper together. Be sure to summarize your finding from your analysis. Also include if there was support for your hypothesis or research question. Include anything else that you may have discovered about the deviant act or yourself from this assignment. Try to be as complete and detailed as possible.

You may work with a confederate if your deviant act requires a partnership (i.e. you perform the act and they take notes). You MAY also use someone as an “observer” to gauge reactions behind you, and take video/picture. DO NOT let them be seen, as this will skew your results.
However, if you work with another student, both members of the team must write their own papers and include their own viewpoints and theoretical perspective of the act.

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