Social Norms In The Winco Grocery Store

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Social norms are the common and accepted behaviors for a specific situation. Norms can be formal or informal. Formal norms are those that have been publicly stated as some sort of law. Informal norms are often unconscious; they are implicitly understood rules of exchange that most members of a group have incorporated. This includes rules that are based on traditions as well as those which have a moral underpinning (North 1990, Pohja 2010). It is important that social norms are distinguished from moral and legal norms (Elster 1989, Pohja 2010 ).
During my Monday through Friday daily commute there two norms I observe every day. The first norm I see during my commute is panhandlers begging for money, food, or some cases work. The second norm …show more content…

Hillsboro in its entire has close to nine-eight thousand in population. Winco is an employee owned store it is open 24 hours a day, and keeps its prices at the lowest rate. Almost any hour of the day or night it is crowded. The store is about five hundred meters inside Hillsboro’s city limits, once you pass it there is farm land until the next city which is about ten miles away, it is the last building on the Westside of Hillsboro. The building itself is about thirty-five years old, a former K-Mart remodeled, on extended side it has a strip mall attached and on the very end a Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles office, a very clean building entirely. The parking lot has been recently been repaved and has three small business buildings, a coffee shop, subway, and a locksmith shop. The entire parking lot is surrounded by sidewalks with green grass and maple trees on all sides, in all it is very well maintained. The West side of Hillsboro has a mixture of working class and lower income demographics. The majority of Winco’s customers on the Westside are Hispanic and Caucasians, about thirty percent of these are …show more content…

So it was just me and my sign. The next car stopped was a Caucasian lady about sixty years old, driving a beat up late model Toyota Corolla. She offered me money, I told her that I didn’t need money; she replied “what are you doing then”. I held my sign up, with a baffled look, she replied, oh! I explained my project and she still looked baffled, she never asked for a dollar either. A few minutes later Hillsboro’s finest drove past, someone must have called the Police. The Police drove by slowly, drove around the parking lot and then drove around the block and never where seen again. My last two people who stopped were couples, the first couple where in thirties two young kids, both Caucasian and the next couple Caucasian and in their fifties. The younger couple right off the bat and knew some was particular was going on. They asked me if it was a joke and if I was really giving money away, I replied yes I am trying too but I have not had many customers. They asked me if it was some type of project, and I replied yes, Sociology experiment. The female replied, “Oh, your breaking a social norm, aren’t you”, and I said Bingo! I held the sign up and said, interested? They both declined and told me to give it to someone deserving. The last couple asked if it was a hoax, if I was really giving money away, I said yes!, the gentlemen said, “Well then, Can I have a dollar?” I

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