The Cultural Practice Of Tipping In The Modern American Society

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If a practice or belief fits the status quo, does that mean it is justified? From the founding of the American colonies until 1865, African slavery was the backbone of America’s economy. Slaves were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in horrendous, fatal conditions, sold as property, branded, and forced to perform grueling labor. In our modern American society, it is commonplace to tip servers and waiters after eating at a restaurant due to numerous extrinsic motivations such as societal norms, and service quality. The cultural practice of tipping fosters a legal environment that promotes poverty, as many states allow servers to be paid less than minimum wage. Although many employees make a significant amount of money in tips, many employees are still not being paid a livable wage, so employers should not be allowed to pay less than minimum wage. The origins of tipping may date back to 17th-century English taverns in which patrons would pay extra money “to insure promptitude.” In modern society, tips are typically not paid until after the bill is received, so the original sentiment has clearly been lost in tradition. So it must be prompted: what motivates people to tip their servers? Numerous studies have shown that in American society, tipping is most likely extrinsically motivated, meaning, people tip because of external influences such as cultural norms and politeness. Michael Lynn, professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University, commented on tipping, “Tipping starts

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