The importance of norms in society are to control peoples’ baser instincts. Instead of doing whatever they want, humans have a set protocol of social and religious mores which they must follow if they want to attain a certain level of normalcy in their lives. Since most people strive to be normal (rather than deviant), it naturally follows that people will want to try to be as much like everyone else as possible.
The social norm that was broken was wearing two different-colored socks to school. The social norm is that one’s socks should match. The one color of the sock on my left foot was pink, and the color of the sock on the other foot was blue.
Conformity would benefit society in this regard, because perhaps people outside on-campus might consider me a raving lunatic. One just never knows what kind of assumptions people who don’t know you are going to make.
A few people gave me strange looks but other than that did not really talk to me at all about it. Perhaps the people were too afraid to ask why I was wearing two different-colored socks. Others probably considered the behavior deviant because I was given a couple of strange glances, looking at my socks.
Regarding committing this “deviant act,” per se, I felt a little bit unusual putting on socks that were not matching colors. I had always been raised to dress well and appropriately—and thus, this was a bit of a challenge for me because I wasn’t sure how people were going to react.
Afterward, I was glad I did this because it demonstrated for me how judgmental people can be based on a person’s looks. Peoples’ reactions certainly tried to influence me, but I think their reactions might have bothered me more had I not been doing this for a classroom assignment.
Having completed this assignment, I realize how strictly structured our society is and how social norms and sanctions can definitely affect how people see us and see the world around us