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breaking social norms examples

Breaking social norms
Breaking social norms
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Breaking social norms or deliberate violation of social norms is always discussed in sociology and psychology classes. If you are constantly thinking about social norms and want to know more about this issue, join us. This article will provide you with information about breaking social norms. We hope you find this information on breaking social norms useful.

What does breaking a social norm mean?

Social norms are a significant part of public and private behaviors that we have learned from childhood and often adhere to in our behaviors without realizing it. It is essential to know that social norms in each country vary according to their type of culture and maybe weaken or strengthen over time.

Norms are generally unwritten concepts, ideas, and laws that play an essential role in our lives. Their presence in all walks of life is undeniable, and they will sometimes place restrictions on human behavior.

Young girl taking a selfie
Young girl taking a selfie

Some norms have positive effects on human relationships. Some social norms guide us to understand how we treat others properly. For example, obstructing and condemning staring at people in public or on the street is one of the social norms that have a deterrent effect. These restrictions will often lead to more peace and order in society.

We often act unconsciously to adhere to social norms, and without overthinking, we have adapted to most social norms.

Or sometimes, we do not even realize their existence until we encounter someone in the community who violates social norms. At that moment, we recognize the fact and importance of social norms.

Norms sometimes manifest themselves in repression, exclusion, and discrimination. Of course, humans are consciously trying to break social norms and challenge them in some cases.

In such a situation, to do so, it is necessary to understand how social norms work and their consequences.

Young woman driving a truck
Young woman driving a truck

Examples of social norms in the United States

In everyday social interactions, we see many standards, and we subconsciously try to implement them. Here are some classic social examples in the United States. Remember, if you violate these social norms in the United States, you commit to breaking social norms.

Maintain distance between yourself and people

In the United States, it is an everyday social norm that there is often a distance of 2 or 3 feet between a person and his friends. This distance will also be 4 feet or more in front of strangers.

Do not interrupt people.

If you interrupt others while speaking, you are acting against social norms. Because Such behavior is a form of disrespect, you should not do it.

eye contact

Make eye contact when talking to people. For example, do this every 3 seconds. This way, people will know that you are paying attention to them.

Read more : Social Norms in America

Eye contact of couples
Eye contact of couples

Thanks for the kind behavior of people

When someone does something loving for you, thank them, and you should be friendly with them and try to reciprocate that person’s love.

prevention of Breaking social norms

In general, adhering to and adapting to social norms makes people aware of other people’s expectations of themselves. This way, they know what to expect from friends and even strangers during social interactions.

The existence of social norms will facilitate social communication. In many cases, social norms will lead to increased empathy among members of society.

Also, social norms and their observance and prevention of Breaking social norms can significantly prevent the increase of indifference among people in society.

Have you ever encountered people who do not follow social norms or seek to break social norms? Usually, in acute situations, people who seek Breaking social norms are excluded from society, and no one will approve of their behavior.

One of the signs of Breaking social norms is that some people do not adequately keep their distance from others.

Relationship between two classmates
Relationship between two classmates

These people usually get so close to the person they want that they will not feel safe and secure. In another example of Breaking social norms, we can point to the lack of personal hygiene. Some people do not take good care of their oral health, and others feel disgusted and discomfort when talking to these people.

Is breaking social norms a disgrace?

Perhaps when we come across the term Breaking social norms, we feel that all human beings have a duty to conform to the standards in our place of residence or our country, or our customs and traditions.

If the observance of social norms is contrary to our goals, it is not very pleasant and will put us under pressure. Sometimes we need to try Breaking social norms and live the way we want.

In many social cultures in different countries, studying, getting married, having children has become a social norm, and these predetermined standards can put additional pressure on people.

Pregnant woman with white underwear
Pregnant woman with white underwear

Live as you wish

If you are constantly affected by social norms, you should know that social pressures are not an external force. Although people in the community are trying to limit you in the way you think is right, you should know that your thoughts and beliefs will play a vital role.

We can say that the role of those around us in creating psychological pressure on social norms is small, and this pressure will be from within you.

In other words, you subconsciously push yourself to coordinate with those around you. But each of us must know that we have the power to break social norms and live according to our desires. We can experience what makes us happy and live as we wish.

Happy girl in purple dress
Happy girl in purple dress

Conclusion about Breaking Social norms

In general, in this article, we explained Breaking social norms. People will be excluded from society if they ignore accepted social standards in acute conditions.

Try to accept social norms’ necessary principles in your personal life, not care about details, and live according to your correct beliefs. This way, you will succeed.

Your definition of success is more important than what other people in the community believe about success.

break social norms ideas

What does breaking the norm mean?

Social norms are one of the main concepts in sociology. Social norms are a type of behavioral expectation that a social group of people must accept and behave according to these principles in a group or society. So, if after entering society and accepting social norms, they act weakly towards observing social norms or consider observing norms unimportant, they have broken norms.

A social norm guides your behavior and shows you what to do in any situation.

Social norms are not only specific to formal groups and society. You should always follow some social norms in small families and friendly groups.

So if your behavior is against the social norms of that group, you should probably leave the group.

Can we deny the importance of observing social norms in society and front of other people? No, because a series of unwritten rules among communities and groups helps people know what to expect from others during social interactions.

Social norms facilitate social communication. So, if you want your relationships with others to be full of health and happiness, it is necessary to follow social norms.

Usually, we know people indifferent to observing social norms as norm-breaking people in society. Being a non-conformist may cause you to lose some of the benefits of being outside groups or communities.

What happens when you break a social norm?

Norms are concepts, ideas, and unwritten rules that effectively exist in all areas of our lives. Sometimes social norms are considered a restriction that determines acceptable behavior in a society or group. So in response to the question, What happens when you break a social norm? We must say that your group or community rejects you because you have not behaved according to predetermined behaviors.

Of course, you need to know that breaking the norm is not always bad.

If breaking and ignoring some negative norms become common in society, they will disappear entirely after some time.

Many people think that breaking social norms is very difficult. Because according to their idea, they should refrain from doing some things and do other things instead.

We learn about social norms from childhood at home and school. For this reason, it is difficult for us to break some social norms.

Usually, what happens when you break a social norm? You will feel guilty or guilty.

Because we have always followed different norms in our daily life, we must try to break the social norms that are not helpful and cause harassment to a specific group of people


  1. Harorimana, D. (Ed.). (2010). Cultural Implications of Knowledge Sharing, Management and Transfer. Advances in Knowledge Acquisition, Transfer, and Management. Published.
  2. Sandholtz, W. (2017). International Norm Change. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Published.


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