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ERIC Number: EJ890031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Making Sociology Relevant: The Assignment and Application of Breaching Experiments
Rafalovich, Adam
Teaching Sociology, v34 n2 p156-163 Apr 2006
Breaching experiments involve the conscious exhibition of "unexpected" behavior, an observation of the types of social reactions such behavioral violations engender, and an analysis of the social structure that makes these social reactions possible. The conscious violation of norms can be highly fruitful for sociology students, providing insights into social structure and elucidating the sociological meaning of students' own subjective experiences. This paper adds to the discussion of the assignment of breaching experiments in two ways. First, it outlines specific instructions (for teacher and student) that are absent or not explained thoroughly in the literature. Described in more detail in this paper are some assignment guidelines the author has found valuable for effective social breaching. Second, this paper offers an example of how a breaching assignment brings abstract sociological concepts "down-to-Earth" for students. The author provides a description of a highly effective breach called "waiting-in-line" that he incorporates into a classroom discussion of Robert K. Merton's (1938) concept of "anomie," which describes a social condition in which the culturally-approved means and goals of a society become questionable, undesirable, or unclear. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A