Research experiment for my Sociology class..lol

@JenInTN (27565)
United States
September 25, 2011 6:52am CST
Ok..this sociology class that I took has really rocked my world. We had to do several research assignments but the last one I did had to do was the hardest. Since sociology is the study of people...I had to bring a few people into my research and it so happened that the people I work with were my victims. After all...the company is paying for this education so why not use them and make them a part of my assignments right? The experiment was an ethnomethodology experiment which gathers the reactions of people when someone acts outside the norm. So...I have to do something outside the norm...legal of course...and record the reactions of the people around me when doing so. SOOOO....I work in a very conservative environment with very conservative women so I decided to make them my victims..hehe. I came in to work after the weekend with a fake tattoo of a skull and crossbones on my neck. A tattoo artist that I knew drew it on for me..I always wear my hair up at work so that made it stand out all the more. I was amazed at how horrified the women were but tried so hard to maintain manners..LOL. I even had one ask me when we were alone who had done my tattoo because she had considered getting one I was eventually called aside and asked if I was ok because I was acting very much out of character...keep in mind the tattoo was the only difference in my demeanor. I had to let them in on it because by law if you are observing behavior and are asked..you have to tell them. Have you ever taken someone out of their norm? Did they react like you thought they would? Would you have had fun with this experiment like I did?
4 people like this
19 responses
• United States
25 Sep 11
I'm outside the norm naturally. To look at me , many see a sweet lady. I'm no lady! If I ever get my tattoo , it will ruffle some feathers. But then again , my co workers only know the me I'm at work. They don't know I refuse to marry or have kids Or to drive a car.if I could I would own a Harley! They don't know I'm Jewish and yet I am for full rights of gay people. Now when or if these come out , they may just be as accepting of me as before but that little shell they put me in will shatter!
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
I tried to be as "out of gender" with my tattoo choice as possible. That is one of the reasons my experiment went the way it did....those people only know the parts of me that I want them to know too. Thanks for the response.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Sep 11
It is partly my fault. I go to work to, silly me, to work. I don't just stand around and talk about myself. so they never know about me.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
Exactly...I am just not comfortable with mixing work with my personal life. When I opened a facebook account I can not count how many people from work wanted to friend me. The thing was it wasn't because we were friends..they just wanted a way to take a peek. I am not on facebook very much anymore and it is just that reason really that I am not. It's none of their business who I am as long as I perform my duties there.
2 people like this
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
25 Sep 11
U mean thing, lol. I know u enjoyed shocking the natives.Would have liked to have been there when u walked in w/your tatoo.I'm sure i have shocked many people over the years but can't recall anything at the moment exceot when i was 38 & got pg & this woman that i use to do her hair & was always a nosy bit*ch to begin with said to me jo, i didn't know u got married. I answered her by saying i didn't know u had to get married to get pregnant. That was the end of that conversation, lol.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
Oh Jo...we are kindred spirits for sure. My grandmother used to call those speechless responses "zingers." Oh how she loved a good zinger. I guess the apple doesn't fall so far from the tree. I guess if my tattoo had been a fairy or something like that it would have been different...LOL. I was so excited about that assignment I could barely contain myself. I had actually thought about doing something like that to them after I had taken my long vacation but that class and assignment just gave me a good excuse.
2 people like this
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
18 Dec 11
tHANKS for the best response. I loved giving her that zinger, lol.
@bunnybon7 (37468)
• Holiday, Florida
25 Sep 11
thats so funny. once many years ago, when i was in my late 20's I did do something very out of the norm. a lot more shameful though my husband had cheated on me and the whole neighborhood always knew me as a goody good type gal that never did anything but stay home with the kids. a friend of mine talked me into going out with her for drinking and danceing. I got pretty drunk and became a real sl* t on the dance floor with some guys. i even made out a little in front of some people that told my husband and everyone else. people looked at me for months with disbelief and some even ask me what got into me. actually i surprised myself. i was just trying to show him how it felt without actually doing it.
3 people like this
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
25 Sep 11
LOL that is terrific..I can see doing this as an 'in your face' gesture I think it was brave and bold and I would think a little healing for you as opposed to being embarrassed? Good for you
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
Nothing wrong with keeping people on their toes. I can see the point you were proving and I am glad to hear it "got around." Thanks for sharing your story!
2 people like this
• United States
25 Sep 11
LOL that sounds so funny and am sure afterwards you had a good laugh. This gives me an idea for the new found me. I have been out of work and it seems I am no longer important. So who knows doing something outside the "norm" might just reconfirm some of my thought. To date I think I have acted inside the so called "norm". I say so called because anything done outside of our usual is usually not considered by society to be "normal" I think I would have a blast doing an experiment as you did and would be hard to contain my laughter with the reactions. lol
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
It was tough and I had a ton of butterflies in my stomach when I walked in that door. The women I work with are very very conservative..lol. They do like a good joke though and that is kind of the way they seen it after I confessed. I think it's great that you are considering something out of the "norm." Sometimes thinking outside of the box can take you places you never realized. Take care and thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164484)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Sep 11
hi jenintn we had a class here the first year I came called mental fitness, stressing thinking outside the box and using your brains in new and different ways. it got axed the second year as it was sponsored by the garden grove school district and they had their funds cut back so us seniors were the ones to get the class axed,. for example we were asked to take an ordinary clean gallon sized can and list at least ten to twenty things you could do with it.other things were to use a package of safety pins large sized in making something new and different. it was really fun and interesting .one of them was to take five particular words and make a short short story of that. being an unpublished fiction writer I had a ball with that.,Our instructor took my story, sent it to readers digest and I got paid fifty dollars for it. fun and profit. the class was actually aimed at helping stroke victims recover much of their brain powe through new and different exercises,.I was healthy but a lot of others were victims of strokes and it did help them.
@1hopefulman (32661)
• Canada
25 Sep 11
Interesting experiment and assignment. I found very funny what you did. Did anybody ask who was your new boyfriend? I usually stay within normal perimeters.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
LOL....it was very interesting...no one asked about a new boyfriend but they sure did wonder about a new me. I was actually very nervous going into the experiment. It's not easy to stand out sometimes I guess. I think if it had been a fairy or something feminine they would have reacted differently but it was a skull and crossbones
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (32661)
• Canada
27 Sep 11
I also hate standing out but being alive and living in this world often forces me to step out of my comfort zone. I do it but prefer not to have to but do it because it serves a useful purpose.
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
25 Sep 11
LOL I love it and it sounds like so much fun to get a fake tattoo of a skull and crossbones I would love to have seen the reactions but I have a pretty good imagination. I haven't done anything like this but one of my girls was given an assignment at school of how to accept critical looks and feelings of discomfort. They were to go to the grocery store and buy just one grape without explaining why. The reactions were varied from questioning to raised eyebrows...
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
That is kind of the same concept! Some of the suggestions he give us were bartering with a cashier or pushing a shopping cart around the store backwards..lol...people will react to actions they are not used to seeing. Thanks for the response!
2 people like this
@idowrite72 (2214)
• United States
25 Sep 11
I have never done anything like this, but I LOVE your idea. I am not sure I could pull it off, and I am sure I would not come up with something so creative IF I had to do it. It does remind me of a class that I took.........not even sure what it was and not the same idea at all........but the instructor had someone come into the classroom, doing something bizarre, (again I can't remember exactly what it was.......long time ago) and then we had to talk about it. It was see how observant we were and it is amazing the different things that people saw AND the different way that we described what we saw. Some talked about what the person was wearing, even, others didn't have a clue. It was interesting that someone thought that you were acting different.......perhaps you were in some manner? Maybe keeping yourself from reacting to their reactions? Very interesting!!
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
I might have acted a little different without realizing it but I tried very hard to make it seem like just another day..lol. It is interesting the different perspectives that we have when he see things. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
25 Sep 11
I would have had a ball. I guess my make up is to do thing that people would expect from me I like to see the reactioon on there faces its halariuos!
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
It was tough to keep it together..LOL...I had fun with it and had a good excuse. Thanks for responding!
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
25 Sep 11
Oh I bet your did lololololol youe welocme
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6342)
• Australia
26 Sep 11
I have done this before. I was a fairly dull quiet person and I went through a transformation that eventually changed my life. The people I worked with watched this transformation. As to how they reacted, well it was with surprise at first and then with pleasure. They were pleased that I was finally breaking the mould that had imprisoned me. I had not considered how they would react but they were all younger than I was and they thought I was growing too old for my age. They wanted me to change so although they were surprised when I did, it was a pleasurable surprise.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Sep 11
It's amazing the transformations that we can go through if we allow it. Sounds like you worked some very caring people. I am happy for you that you stepped outside of the norm you lived in. It can be refreshing. Thanks for the response!
@bagarad (12777)
• Paso Robles, California
25 Sep 11
What an interesting discussion! I wish you'd been able to have someone make a video of the first ten minutes of that day. I"ve never had a class with such fun assignments. The only thing I did out of character was to shout and scream at my husband one day after 20 years of never having done so. A mentor I really respected told me I needed to do something to jar him by acting out of my usual patterns. It happened one day when he was after me for not arranging my load right in the washing machine and the machine was bouncing all over the kitchen floor. My contention was that he needed to level the legs on the old machine, which had been dancing around since our move a few weeks before. On that particular day, he had told me to rearrange the load for the third time in about an hour. I knew it was the legs, and that's when I really blew up -- something I'd never done before. I am normally either diplomatic, or, if really hurt, I get frustrated and it shows in tears. When I started screaming, my husband backed off like he'd been shot. He then agreed to check the legs, and guess what he discovered. Yep. The legs weren't level. That was my only such experiment.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
25 Sep 11
Sounds like your experiment did the trick! Sometimes it is interesting to do something out of the norm just to see what people will do. I think this is my most drastic case...I have never really had a good excuse though. I have been at the company for almost 13 years and so you can imagine that they were very surprised. I'm glad you like the discussion! Thanks for the response!
1 person likes this
@Lore2009 (7389)
• United States
11 Oct 11
Interesting and fun! I don't remember doing something like that yet, but I've always wanted too. I want to walk around with a unibrow or something.. just to see what people may do.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
24 Oct 11
You sound like a lot of fun. I did have a blast with the experiment but I do have to say that you have to be prepared for reaction. Some of them might not be nice. You could make a unibrow and let us know what happens!
@Lore2009 (7389)
• United States
25 Oct 11
That's true.. they may not be nice... did you experience that too? I shall be prepared.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
7 Nov 11
Not really...I did have a few people kind of avoid me though. It might have just been because they didn't know what to say. I have been around these particular people for a very long time though. I guess that kind of added to the reaction factor.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
4 Oct 11
No I haven't, but I could certainly get into this experiment easily. I'm also a little bit conservative as I don't have any piercings or tattoos. Last July, at a festival we went to, I had a fake dragon done on my shoulder. I could certainly feel being out of the norm when I had it. Unfortunately, as it was on my shoulder, no one could see it when I got to work the following Monday. It would have been interesting to see the reactions of my co-workers if they'd seen it.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
24 Oct 11
Heyya bounce! Sorry it has taken so long to get back to this. I have been trying very hard to keep up with my friend's discussions while I am so busy. It is really an eye opener to see how differently one can be treated just because of something like that. I know that having tattoos is common but it depends on the group your around and I guess the fact that I didn't have one before raised the eyebrows. I don't think it would have been as shocking had it been a gender supporting tattoo...fairy or flower...but seeing it was a skull...well...that kind of shocked them. I guess you could say I am pretty feminine so it wouldn't have fit what they thought of as the norm..lol.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
24 Oct 11
For guys that would be sexy though! A 'pretty feminine lady with skull tattoos!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
7 Nov 11
@celticeagle (119880)
• Boise, Idaho
26 Sep 11
Oh my gosh! In my last place of work I had so many gossipers and weird folk working there. I will bet that if I did that by lunch time there would so much schuddlebutt about my tattoo I would hear back before my lunch started. I worked in a big huge call center and people I knew worked in different departments all over the center. I would have spread like wild fire!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Sep 11
Oh yes..it was pretty much...Jenny has gone wild...she got a skull tattoo. The main part was the fact that it was not something within gender. If it had been a fairy or butterfly, it would have been different. There are alot of gossipers where I work at too. That is one of the reasons I am not on facebook as much anymore. There are people that I work with that aren't really my friends, they just want a peek into my life. Thanks for the response! How have you been anyway?
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119880)
• Boise, Idaho
26 Sep 11
I hear ya! I have been feeling better. Thanks for asking. I had another med added and I am seeing some improvement.
@allknowing (69560)
• India
26 Sep 11
In a way may be I am doing it now. I have changed my attitude towards people per se. I used to be always the first one to make calls, visit people, write, etc. etc. etc. Now I don't do it anymore. People's reaction to this is one of anger. People have drawn their own conclusions and none of them are in my favour nor have they come back to me asking me why I have changed. What say?
1 person likes this
@allknowing (69560)
• India
26 Sep 11
Having interacted with you here I find you to be a sober, gentle soul and that tattoo! it must have sure made everyone's day!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Sep 11
Sometimes people do make their own conclusions. They are so caught up in their own world and think they know everything that they never really know the truth. I am taking it that your brother has not made any efforts? That tattoo did make everyone's day once they realized it wasn't real. I am very professional at work and for me to come in with a skull and crossbones was very out of character..LOL. Thanks for responding!
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
12 Oct 11
Extremely interesting study Jen. I would of had fun no doubt. The study itself and the results would be interesting. Studying Sociology must be interesting. I bet your co-workers took another double take when you came back to work the next day and the tattoo was suddenly gone, lol. I know. I read that you had to let them in on it. Very good. Sounds like it was fun but I can also understand why you may of felt nervous going into it however. ROFL is right! The woman asking where you had the tattoo done. Good One. You must of been about to burst with laughter. I would of.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
24 Oct 11
The woman asking me where I had it done was the best...LOL. I did have fun with it but there were a couple of times I got a little nervous feeling. It's not easy to be the "center of attention" under that kind of situation. Sociology really was an eye opener. It's amazing how many things are right there and you just never think of them. Thanks for responding and I am so sorry I haven't got back to you sooner. It's been a very busy time for me. Take care.
@SHAMRACK (8532)
• India
7 Oct 11
Dear friend, The experiencement that is noted would be nice, I wished may be I too could participate. May that tatoo would have been liked by them. But I do not see any awkward, if I was face this may be I feel much ease, when a person with tatoo like that, may be I would not forget to appreciate it. We do had educational tours have seen our professors with different charater that do not much suit them, but that is welcomed by us, as we students had an healthy and friendly relationship with them. I had also seen people getting nervous and showing funny behavours. May be I would have fun with that experiment...
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
24 Oct 11
Hi Shamrack! It really was a lot of fun. I did get a little uncomfortable at a couple of points when I saw how uncomfortable they were. I think that if the tattoo had been one of a flower or fairy..it wouldn't have had the same affect. It was the fact that it was "out of my gender" that made them really react...lol. Thanks for the response!
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
2 Oct 11
Very interesting Jen and what a great idea doing what you did. I did something a little similar with one person back in my younger days and was quite amazed by the reactions of the person. I guess you could say I played a trick on her but it was still amazing to see the consequences.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
3 Oct 11
It is amazing how differently people will react with certain changes. Even though the person inside had not changed, the picture on my neck made everyone react as though I was a different person altogether. Thanks for the response!
@margeryann (1853)
• United States
26 Sep 11
It sounds fun and I bet it was hard to keep a straight face but even someone that really got a new tattoo would be curious how people would react to seeing it.You sure were creative on figuring out what to do to surprise people at work.What did you do have a small tap recorder in your pocket so you could record what was going on . If you did I bet your instructor got a kick out of it. I bet it was funny to listen to later on too, or did you record it by just talking about what happened later on. I haven't heard from you in a while. It is good to see your discussion. I haven't done a discussion in a while. I've been just answering them for a while. I've been busy and having a hard time thinking of things to talk about. I hope you had a good weekend and will have a good week! Now the people at work will be on edge wondering what you will be up to next joking
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Sep 11
No tape recorder..legalities prevent me from that. I took notes on their reactions and how many times they did this or said that. Then I wrote a paper describing the atmosphere and victims, what each of them said and done, how stressed they become..lol...that stuff. I have been so busy too. I am starting to have a little extra time but not much. I have been trying to keep up with answering discussions too. I haven't started many because I knew I couldn't be as active in them as I usually was. Thanks for responding and I hope you are well.
@Hatley (164484)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Sep 11
hi jenintnoh how m uch fun and I can imagine some schocked looks and some who wanted one just l ike yours. that is real clever thinking on your part and that was the only change,. It will be really 'interesting to see all the behavior of everyone., I never did a research experiment for sociology class bu t when I was in college I was a victim in a research experiment in psychology where I was blindfolded along with other victims and we were to try and give full trust to our would be helpers.okay my helper betrayed my trust as he told me "just follow me as I have your hand and you are walking on the sidewalk by the little irrigation canal close t the bookstore.oh my g I trusted him completely me old enough to be his mom and the stinker guided me into the shallow irrigation channel where I walked into ten inches of icy cold running water blindfolded and all. at this I tore off the blindfold and told him I had trusted him but he had betrayed me., I got an A for my part and he got a zero for his joke.,So this really was one for my memory book. hope you really ace this experiment sounds like a lot of fun and very interesting too.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Sep 11
I am fixing to start a psychology class or two and I am anxious to see what I am in for. My classes are accelerated so they go by very fast. I am already halfway through a music appreciation class now. I did do well in my sociology class. The instructor was tickled about my experiment. He said the oddest one he did was took a book and sit down on the sidewalk of a busy passage and began to read. I'm not sure that woman at work wanted one like mine..I think that was her way of initiating acceptance..LOL. They were definitely surprised. They played kind of a joke on me a few years ago so I owed them anyway.