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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Norm Breaking Project

Define ‘ Norm ‘

A set of law and rule for a certain group and it might not be interesting to another group. Maybe that norm means a lot to that certain group and sometimes means nothing for some group.

Define/Describe the norm you are breaking.

In my culture a boy and girl can not date before the engagement and parents should talk with each other and have a common idea about the boy and girl, it means a boy and girl can’t date without their parents’ permission. Dating a girl with a boy without her parents permission is a big issue and topic and sometimes that girl might get killed by her parents in Afghanistan but in this culture a boy and a girl can date very easily through different social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Viber, Wechat, Instagram, etc.

Describe your activity. What did you do?

In this culture ( United States ), when a boy and a girl love each other they will start dating and trying to learn more about each other. I loved a girl and decided to start dating her so I can learn more about her, she is also from my culture. We dated for almost 6 to 7 months and I found and know a lot of information about her. One of my friends found out about our relationship and he told everything about us to her dad. As I mentioned before in my culture we can’t date until our both parents agree with our decision.

Describe the reaction of people who witnessed your behavior.

Her dad called my dad and said it is not okay for your son to date my daughter and it is not okay for them to date right now and they should finish their education. We just chat and talk with each other but her dad thinks so far. Someone told a lot of things behind us that never happened between us.

Why did they react this way?

Every group of people has their own norm and life line or border and they are trying to not cross the lines. The reason that her dad got mad at me, I dated her daughter without his permission. Maybe this case might be a simple issue for some people, but for us it’s a big subject in my culture and it doesn’t matter how deep is your relationship, if you just talked or chatted, people in my culture will think very far.

Is this the reaction that you expected?

No, I already knew that if her dad found out about our relationship it would not gonna be okay for both of us. Her family reacted very opposite as usual and they are thinking about something different that never happened between us.

Why or why not?

Well, I expected that kind of reaction if her parents found out about our relationship but the problem is someone else told them a lot of things and put me in a bad situation. In my culture we are very attentioning to the idea of people in our community and we always try to obey the norm and rule and not cross the line and it doesn’t matter if both sides agree to do something!

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