Normalization: A Sociological Analysis

Good Essays
Normalization is a significant aspect of society, that works to produce and reproduce privilege and marginalization. We are all products of society and as a result, we are forced to participate within seemingly meaningless actions on a daily basis. I chose to be the person I am today because I would like to prevent my own oppression based on my inability to conform to the norms. Every normalized action has a purpose, even things that seem so insignificant, such as the way we sit. After I took the time to analyze my sitting procedure, I have come to the conclusion that it is everything but normal or natural. When I sit down, I always have one leg over the other and ensure that my arms are close to the rest of my body. I am very mindful of the…show more content…
As a child, I was constantly disciplined to obey these norms, until it finally became second nature to me. My mother would always nag me to sit up straight, keep my legs together, and stop fidgeting. My sitting procedure is like an unwritten law that people themselves police each other to confine to. I choose to obey these rules because I am aware of the privilege that comes with it and the marginalization that comes without it. If I took a seat with my head down and legs more than about 30 cm apart, I know that others will begin to negatively perceive me, as normalization is produced and reproduced by society itself. Having my head down will give people the idea that I am lazy, upset and unsuccessful. My legs being far apart implies that I am butch and will be described as a lesbian. Shockingly, all of these assumption and many more can be created through the simple act of sitting. If you fail to meet the criterial of the norm, you will be excluded because you are considered abnormal. For example, a person who is unable to sit in a classroom for 2 hours straight, is described as having a mental disability called ADD. I attain privilege because I am able to conform to these norms and gain that inclusion that certain people are restricted from. When I am in the comfort of my own home, I am free to sit down with my feet up…show more content…
This is my standard procedure of sitting that has been dictated by Western ideologies of how one should “properly” take a seat. This “proper” way of siting differs within various parts of the world, but because Canada is a Western nation, I must abide by white beliefs. Despite the fact that I am not white, I must follow the dominant way of doing things, in order to maintain my privilege. The white supremacy that swamps our nation forces people to believe that white ideologies are always correct. Thus, because whiteness brings privilege, even if you are not caucasian, you will still follow their traditions and beliefs. These ideas are not just norms, they have been institutionalized into the system. In elementary school, my teacher would always have to remind other students and I that we must sit up straight and keep our heads up. It was never made clear that we must do this because it is the white ideal, instead it was described as the “proper” way and doing anything else would make you a savage or beast-like. Eventually, my classmates and I chose to follow these rules, not because we believed in its significance, but because we gained out of it. Today, going into class I do not need my professor to tell me how to sit because I already know what the expectations are before even entering the building. I have internalized the idea that doing anything
Get Access