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Sociology of Deviant Behavior

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Marvianna Gray

Professor Jacoby

Sociology of Deviant Behavior

        I never paid attention to social norms or dwelled on what being normal entailed, I just lived my life trying not to be seen as weird. I had the notion that being deviant only had something to do with breaking the law or being bad, then I learned that it meant veering away from accepted standards. When you put it that way; I guess I’ve been deviant my whole life, but it is way easier to be deviant when you don’t know you are being deviant.


This assignment was quite a challenge for me because I don’t think I’ve ever had to be intentionally deviant and it did take some time for me to think of a social norm to violate. I finally decided that I wanted to try this experiment out in different bathrooms on Drew’s campus. It is normal for individuals to wait when they see someone occupying a bathroom stall, it’s considered common courtesy and for some reason we all follow this rule. However, I thought to myself, how would a person react to me knocking on their stall while they were using the bathroom? as opposed to the average person waiting outside of the stall for the individual to finish.

 I make my way to the C-level bathroom in the library and I notice a young lady comfortably using the bathroom. I walk up to the stall door, give it 3 loud bangs, and ask her if she’s almost done in there. Of course the young lady lets out a slight scream, then she yells “Someone’s in here!” I tell her that I know someone is in there but I want to know if she is almost done. She tells me yes and speedily gathers her things and walks out of the stall, the young lady gives me an awkward smile before washing her hands, then leaves. At that moment I knew I made her very uncomfortable.

I tried this experiment out again in the Brothers College bathroom; I spotted another girl using the restroom and I vigorously banged on the door asking if she was done in there. The girl yells “What the fuck is your problem?” I tell her I just want to know if she’s almost done so I can use the bathroom. She tells me to use the other bathroom stalls they’re empty, I refused and tell her I want to use the one she is in. The young lady says “What the fuck,” once again and exits the bathroom stall, she washes her hands and shakes her head at me as she walks out of the bathroom.

The last place I tried this experiment was in Baldwin Gym’s women’s bathroom. Once again I bang in the stall door while someone was using it, the young lady yells “Hey Hey Hey … stop that can I help you?” I ask her if she’s almost done in there, she says no she’s using the bathroom. I calmly say OK and allow her to use the bathroom peacefully; about ten minutes later I bang on the door again and ask her if she’s done now. She tells me I am very rude and asks me if I had any mental problems, I replied no and told her I just really wanted to use her bathroom stall and she was taking too long. The young lady angrily washes her hands and storms out of the bathroom.



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