Breaking the Rules 

By: Sydney Stigall

      Before the clock rang midnight on December 1st of 2017, the students of Mr. McCray’s fifth hour Sociology class were to turn in results of a case study they performed. Being one of the first things the class learned, sociology is defined as the scientific study of patterned social behavior. The students were to conduct a case study with a bit of field research. Of the two choices given, they were to pick one: to observe a group of students they do not normally associate with or to engage in a participant observation as they break three social norms here at Richmond High School.

     Of the eight students in this class, the majority plan to participate in their observation to see how the other students of RHS will react to their devious plans. As you walked the halls or sat in the classroom and a student or two performed some weird stunt, kind of stunning you, now you know why. They were there to record your initial reactions. Some examples may include walking on the wrong side of the hallway, violating personal space, sitting in another person’s seat, taking a sippy cup to class instead of a normal water bottle, or allowing a phone to continually go off in class and not answer it. Although before performing these wacky stunts, the students were to get permission from their teacher or a staff member, of course. Hannah Truitt brought a sippy cup to school and had anticipated more interesting reactions than what had occurred. “Not many people had said much, but I did get a few funny looks,” Truitt declares.

     After successful case studies, the students excitedly shared their reactions among each other. And not only were the reactions interesting, but the prize that could come after was enticing as well. Mr. McCray had made a deal with the students. If they could all turn in their essays before the deadline, the class would be allowed a food party during the week of finals. “It was a fun experience! I was one of the couple of students who observed some at lunch,” states junior Kaylee Duncan. “I looked for what set them apart from others.” The students had learned a lot from their peers and had quite the experience seeing the initial reactions portrayed.


Above: Hannah Truitt was one of the students who took part in the participant observation.


Posted by scomegys On 07 December, 2017 at 10:17 AM