Examination of a Social Norm

Social norms, the unwritten rules of society that dictate most people’s daily lives because they don’t want to be “out of line.” These rules even though unspoken or ever mentioned as matter of fact, influence people’s normal everyday lives and behavior overall. Like Professor Avery said in his first lecture, “forces that hold society are often invisible to the human eye and unless they are broken we can’t see them”. Being a college student, one very common social norm that is quite prevalent on campus and among the student body itself is the idea of college students drinking, and not just drinking in moderation, but drinking to a dangerous amount.

Even though the negative consequences of drinking are widely known and are easy to look up on the internet, social norms for alcohol act as important influences on college students drinking.

Alcohol consumption among college students has always been something of great concern because of the long list of problems that accompany college students drinking. Alcohol consumption in general society and especially on college campuses is such a well-known and recognized norm that people who do not conform to the norm are seen as “weird” or “different.” Social media and the television industry have made drinking such a common behavior that even I myself, a frequent binge watcher of tv shows, end up realizing I have seen the characters on most shows drink alcohol on more occasions than actually drinking water, something we need to survive.

On tv, alcohol is often used to deal with a plethora of emotions, especially stress.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Health

4.9 (247)

“ Rhizman is absolutely amazing at what he does . I highly recommend him if you need an assignment done ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

For a normal college who watches tv very often and is usually stressed out from school, conform to the norm imparted on them through the characters in their favorite tv shows. College students are also often influenced by other social marketing techniques such as advertisements, posters and flyers. College students have internalized the norm to the extent that often there are multiple college parties with heavy amount of drinking, and it is encouraged in that situation. Speaking from personal experience, I have seen how prevalent that this norm is when I finished a team meeting once and after the meeting was over, more than half the team mates wanted to go for a drink. In the west, and more specifically America, we conform to the norm more than we would like to admit. Most students would be embarrassed to tell their parents how they much they drink.

It’s interesting to see how engrained into our society this norm is, that I myself have seen people budget alcohol as a part of their monthly spending budget. Imagine that, someone setting their money aside for something that is in no way a necessity and has no benefits. Even though there are people who try to justify their drinking by quoting the common misconception that alcohol is good for your heart, it really isn’t. Even though negative alcohol-related consequences are a common sight on most U.S. college campuses college students often do not change their drinking behavior. This may be because “negative” consequences such as having a hangover may not actually be evaluated as negative by college students. Any benefit that people use to justify their drinking is far outweighed by the negative health effects that accompany drinking.

This norm even though very prevalent and accepted in society, does not apply to all groups equally. Speaking about myself as a Muslim, in my religion of Islam, we are forbidden to drink, and it is severely looked down upon in the Muslim community if one does drink. Looking at the general Muslim student body on campus, they also do not conform to this widely accepted social norm. Also, people who come from families with alcohol addiction or alcohol related trauma either through the loss of a family member or a friend to drinking problem usually avoids drinking because they know the extent of the harm and pain it can bring to them and their family members alike.

College parties are more often than not a place of heavy drinking and norm is very heavily enforced, not necessarily physically enforced but mostly enforced through social peer pressure. Even when people chose not to drink at parties, they are very heavily influenced, and peer pressured into drinking by the people around them. Eventually most people give in because of that social fear of being left or singled out for being different. People who do say no end up being called a “buzzkill” and other names for choosing not to drink.

Cite this page

Examination of a Social Norm. (2022, Jul 26). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/examination-of-a-social-norm/

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7