Senior seminar in sociology soc-499-ol01

Response to the discussion question: (1) Charolette

I have no desire to buy a hearse.  In American cultural hearse represents death.  You only see a hearse if it is being used to carry a deceased person’s remains.  If a person drove one every day, would be out of the norm.

If I were to start driving a hearse every day; my family and friends would think I have mental problems.  Driving a hearse is a deviant behavior that is not considered to be bad.  The word “deviance” has a negative connotation in everyday language but is not necessarily bad. 

“Whether an act is labeled deviant or not depends on many factors, including location, audience, and the individual committing the act.” (OpenStax, 143) If someone was riding around in a hearse Halloween weekend, it would not be a deviant act.  However, if it’s the Fourth of July, they would have people stirring and whispering.

Reference:

OpenStax College. Introduction to Sociology. Open Stax College. 21 June 2012.

Response to discussion question: (2) Jason

 

I am torn between wanting to drive a hearse and not wanting to drive one. In one case I would drive it because it shatters cultural norms, and my deviance would be “a violation of established contextual, cultural, or social norms” (OpenStax College (2012:142). Driving a hearse around is not what people would expect of me. Simply put, I would do it for the shock factor. Then, on-the-other-hand, I do not think I would enjoy doing this for long. After some time I am sure I would become tired of “shocking” people and just want to be left alone and go unnoticed.

My wife and I are easy-going people and do not care too much about what other people think. I am sure she would have fun riding in a hearse. We could take our dogs’ camping in it because there would be plenty of room in the back to make a bed. My mom would laugh and say, “Whatever makes you happy honey,” and my dad would say, “What? Do you have a dead body back there?”

            I would only drive a hearse if it was already paid for; just because I love my Jeep too much to not drive it. Then again, even if it was paid for I would not give up my Jeep… but that is a separate conversation. Being deviant in society is not a bad thing. Being a deviant also means to foster social change OpenStax College (2012:142). Driving a hearse for the average person could become socially acceptable if more people did it.

             Going against social norms, or acting against what society says I have to do is not bad. Why do I have to do what society says? Who gets to make this determination what is best for me? If I do not conform to society, or not become “socialized” then what are the consequences?

            I am assuming it depends on how far I would take being “anti-society,” or “not socialized.” I think a person can be to an extent, but once you cross a certain point you become an ineffective member of society. For example, in our module this week there is a lesson on “Wild Child: The Story of Feral Children.” This would be the point when a person could become “criminal in some places,” but maybe “perfectly acceptable elsewhere” (OpenStax College (2012:142).

OpenStax College, Introduction to Sociology. OpenStax College. 21 June 2012. <http://cnx.org/content/col11407/latest/>.

 
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