SYG 2000 FIU Introduction to Sociology Ethnomethodological Experiment


More Details for you to include in this assignment:

In writing up the results of this experiment be sure to specifically discuss any other norms that might have been operating that affected the results of your experiment. In addition, tell the reader about the reasons your interviewees gave for their sanctions.

For bonus points, please describe how values might have influenced the results of your experiment.

Expectation for Grading:

  • NOTE: This assignment does not have to be longer than two pages in length, although you may need three pages, depending upon the sanctions you receive as a result of your norm violation.
  • Fully review and follow the attached document: Research Paper Guidelines for an Ethnomethodological Study.docx
  • Submit your ethnomethodological experiment by week’s end – double spaced in APA formatting.
  • College level writing using complete sentences.
  • Research-based using the chapter readings, any provided videos and lessons, or other resources and personal research.
  • APA Reference Graphic


Research Paper Guidelines for an Ethnomethodological Study

© Andy Plotkin, Ph.D. 2020

This short research project encapsulates nearly all the elements of a larger social science research study.With this social experiment—what is sometimes referred to as a breeching experiment–you will learn the scientific method, the same method used in larger research papers.You will learn about the process of setting up a social hypothesis, collecting data to test the hypothesis, and analyzing and communicating the results.In general, there are ten steps that many research papers follow, but for this short project here are the few steps you will follow.

  • Develop your hypothesis—a predicted causal relationship—between an independent and a dependent (and perhaps an intervening) variable.
  • To conduct this type of study, select a norm, an expectation shared within a family or other group of which you are a member, and decide how, when, and how often you will violate or breech it.This deviant behavior is your independent variable.
  • Then predict the sanctions that will occur; that is, indicate how you think the members of your group will react to your norm violation (e.g., which members will react, when they will react, and how).This is your dependent variable.
  • Describe these two variables as concretely as possible so that readers can objectively, empirically, or physically, sense them.For example, you might hypothesize the following: “When I don’t ask politely for someone to pass the potatoes to me at my family’s dinner time (the independent variable), my mother’s jaw will drop and my father will sternly admonish me about my bad manners” (the dependent variable).
  • Before carrying out your experiment, describe your feelings (e.g., anxiety, fear, nervousness, sadness, guilt, shame, anger, etc.) as you anticipate the reactions you expect to receive when you violate the norm.
  • Describe how and when you actually violated the norm and the detailed reactions you received.Afterwards, interview the subjects involved to find out what they were thinking and feeling when you violated their norms, created a dysfunction in your group, and became a deviant in your group.
  • Test your hypothesis:Did the results conform to your prediction?If not, how did the reactions differ from those described in your hypothesis?
  • If the reactions were not as expected, why do you think they differed from your hypothesis?What other factors or variables may have been present that affected the results of your experiment?Find out more during your interview with the people in the group whose norms you violated.(OVER)

Here are two optional steps that you may need to include in your paper:

  • In the event that the reactions you receive from your norm violation are too harsh, and you want them to stop, you may tell the members of your group why you did what you did (e.g., for a social experiment for your sociology course).However, if you do this, then describe the group members’ reactions to your excuse (e.g., disbelief, relief, laughter, anger, etc.).Again, interview your subjects to find out more details.
  • Try to explain the group members’ reactions to your excuse.That is, why did they react the way they did? Again, you can find out more during your interviews.

Here are a few restrictions as to what types of violations you may NOT commit:You may NOT violate ANY laws, including traffic violations, slander, and liable; in addition, you may NOT gossip, even if the gossip is true.Finally, do NOT do anything that will get you fired from your job or suspended from school.

Formatting must be typed, double spaced, with 12-point typeface, two to three pages in length.Please write in paragraph form with complete sentences.

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