Discussion 4


Norms in society can serve to regulate and dictate human behavior. As such, norms also have the ability to clarify and, according to sociologists, create deviance. Rules, by nature, define what is rule-breaking. To break the rules is to be deviant. Deviance is simply the absence of conformity to social norms. For example, when a little boy plays with dolls or a little girl plays with trucks, that behavior is contrary to usual gender expectations or norms. Another example is the changing norm about who pays for dinner when a man and woman are on a first date. Or consider the Family and Medical Leave Act, which opened the door for both male and female employees to be more present for their families during times of health crisis or new life.

Share your own example of a norm associated with gender roles within the modern family and, in your post, respond to the following questions:

  1. What happens when individuals or families violate this norm?
  2. Do you see this norm in families evolving over time? Why or why not?
  3. What are some driving forces that will limit or accelerate a change regarding this norm?

In response to your peers, support or challenge their view on the driving forces behind the norm they chose evolving over time.

Be sure to relate your post and response to sociological theory.