Social norms of young adults change over time | Characteristics


Once upon a time, the biggest problem was getting the coolest Valentine’s Day cards, and now our biggest problem is deciding how long to wait to text someone if you’re interested.

It is clear that we are getting older, as the unwritten rules that society has imposed on us affect the way we act, dress and speak. A complex web of rules, expectations, gender roles and taboos make life a complicated and messy puzzle.

Some of the company rules have now been compiled by MTV. The TV shows “Guy Code” and more recently “Girl Code” provide a mechanism, in a comedic format, for defining the best way to behave in various situations.

The purpose of the broadcasts is to provide insight into how to handle certain situations, such as dropping a significant other, working life, and how to attend a football match. Both shows present an aspect of both points of view to create a fair characterization of how men and women approach situations.

Brian Kelly, associate professor of sociology, says the complex web of these informal rules is community-based and that there are many factors, including generational factors, that influence the rules.

“Social norms are the manifestation of a community process,” Kelly said. “You have groups of people who serve certain values ​​and beliefs that define a series of informal rules for that group, whether it is a certain subculture, a certain community or society as a whole. . “

TV shows show a variety of different situations, and different personalities who host the show may have different perspectives on the same topic.

Kelly said, for example, when breaking up with someone, personality is a big factor in how someone will react, even outside of their stereotypical gender role.

“I think there are types of people who feel the need to act out of politeness. Men and women will let someone down easily and there are also men and women who will be absolutely vicious when doing something. a breakup… it probably always has been, “Kelly said.” We just have a different idea of ​​what people had 30 (or) 40 years ago. ”

Ariel Higginbotham, a sophomore student at Agriculture College and newlywed, said social norms are changing; however, traditions that are still firmly rooted in older generations can be seen as outdated.

“It was very interesting, everything from (my great-grandparents) was written to my husband, it wasn’t written to me when they wrote checks or cards or whatever,” said Higgenbotham.

John Bates, a senior at the College of the Liberal Arts, said there are rules men must follow, such as respect. Bates said some proclaim chivalry to be dead, and if so, it shouldn’t be. Bates believes that being respectful is key to both men and women.

The “delicate dance” of following these “codes,” Kelly said, is often surrounded by traditions from our parents and society, but these rules continually change. Kelly said that as times change, with dating procedures, women who want to split the check or even pay for the entire check are far from the norm, but moves are gradually changing the “procedures. normal encounters for both sexes “.

“There will always be the perception of tradition,” Kelly said. “I think what you’ll often see with young adults dating is that there will be a finely choreographed dance after the check is deposited. Even what the two of them expect to happen. may even be different. “

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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