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Example research essay topic: Nonverbal Communication One Space - 602 words

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On todays episode of Know Your Principles of Sociology, the question is how important are the mundane rules of life? Our contestants in Dr. Marins class helped us out with finding the answer. To answer this they simply violated an unwritten social norm that people live by in our culture. They decided to violate the space theory. Weather it be to randomly hug people or sit extremely close to them, these brave young souls went to the farthest ends to observe and document the expressions of those being violated and those of others witnessing it.

We now will go to one of the students to tell us about the experiment. In article 14 of Carbon and Ballantines text Sociological Footprints, they discuss the variable of nonverbal communication. Anyone can learn the words of a language but to understand the gestures and facial expressions is difficult unless raised in that culture. That is why understanding nonverbal communication is important, cause without this knowledge then outsiders would be confused and problems may occur. In our experiment we decided to invade peoples personal bubble. To do this we secretly videotaped them while others went up and got close to them.

Now normally in an American society we have our space and we do not like it when strangers intrude on that space. If done then the typical reaction is to step back and gain the space between back. That is not the only way to annoy peoples space. One can sit down right next to another when all the other seats or tables are empty.

These are examples of space violations; and that is exactly what we did. We started by observing what happened when one of us went up to a stranger and sat abnormally close to them while they were studying at the library. We did this numerous times and with different genders of people to obtain different types of responses. The group and I went even further as to go up and hug random people. Needless to say that they were surprised and were left confused and uncomfortable. We did all of this while videotaping them so we could document the reactions of each.

For our results we saw that gender of the violator played a big variable in the response. When one of us guys went up to a girl they were either thought that they were being hit on and reacted to us with the approval or disapproval of a first impression, or they laughed and caught on to the fact that something was up. Either way they were left disturbed and uncomfortable. When guys went up and hugged other guys the reaction was one of complete disturbance. They did not know how to respond and did not like the idea of possibly being hit on by a homosexual. Similar reactions occurred when women went up to women, and when women went up to men.

I might add that some of the guys liked the possibility of being hit on by a lady due to the fact that most of the time it is the other way around, but that is another sociological trait. In conclusion, our experiment illustrated that our culture always is uncomfortable with the idea of the bubble being popped. In each case the victim was in wonderment as to what was going on and how he or she should respond. Our culture has its unwritten rules and follows these rules in everyday life. We learn them from day one and disturbed when someone breaks one of these rules. We showed you that in our experiment.

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Research essay sample on Nonverbal Communication One Space

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