Summary Of Theodore Caplow's Rule Enforcement Without Visible Means

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Theodore Caplow 's "Rule Enforcement Without Visible Means: Christmas Gift Giving in Middletown" describes how the town and the families living in Middletown celebrate Christmas. In addition, a survey of the inventory of all Christmas activities and gifts received/given was taken in observation of the social changes and social "rules" that appear to govern gift giving in Middletown. I agree with Caplow 's message that gift giving is a social understanding adapted from childhood to adulthood because it has become part of a social system that people are unaware about. Society unknowingly, recognizes and participates in the act of gift giving because it is passed down from generation to generation yet it is not enforced. Likewise to a language or dialect, gift giving has developed its way into society. It is also similar to norms in the sense that it is unintentionally integrated…show more content…
As a young adult, I can say that Christmas gift giving is likewise to language. Similar to how I grasped the language of English and developed it as I got older, gift giving has also grown with me throughout my childhood up till now. Both have evolved into society and culture. Christmas has transformed into a "cultural ritual" celebrated year after year all because of social norms. The idea that society celebrates Christmas and gift giving without having to be forced represents how culture regulates societal behavior. My family and I celebrate Christmas and gift giving every year without having to be forced in any way. From Christmas shopping, decorating the Christmas tree, making Christmas cookies, singing carols, and gift giving, my family and I have always followed the "rules." We are motivated and influenced by society to acknowledge the Christmas holiday and act of gift giving because it is what our culture has been governed to do. Once the "language" of gift giving has been learned and enforced, it then becomes a necessity in society that people automatically follow without

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