Deviant Times in Chicago


I decided to do my deviant act in the city of Chicago, where there is a wide variety of people of all ages and demographics. The deviant act that I preformed was simple yet entertaining. Several of my friends and I are always in downtown Chicago, and I explained to them that I had to write a paper for sociology that required me to do something out of the norm. So I came up with the idea of driving around busy parts of the city and sticking my head out the sunroof and yelling and making weird and unusual facial gestures, i.e., yelling gibberish while pointing at someone with my eyes crossed, or making obnoxious noises at cyclists etc. (sorry I don’t have any photos of this). I did this act to a wide variety of people and places such as construction workers, pedestrians, women, children, men, elderly, and cyclists, I 55, I 94, Lake Shore Drive, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and other multiple locations. These acts all took place between the dates July 10th, 2011 and July 16th, 2011. I also did this deviant act at many different times during the day; rush hour, in the morning while on the way to work, and late night (after midnight).

I observed many different types of reactions not only from the people off the street but from my friends as well. This depended on the demographics of the people that I encountered. Here are a few that stand out to me. My friend was driving my car near the intersection of Ashlandand Milwaukee. This deviant act took place during the day around four o’clock. I told my friend that I was going to try and put my head out of the window and yell and make faces at a cyclist. I saw a cyclist approaching; I flung half my body out the window as he approached the car and let him have it. I kind of caught him off guard, and he appeared to have a nervous look on his face. As I sat back in my seat we caught a red light and the cyclist I had just pulled the deviant act on was right next to the car. I couldn’t help but laugh, but the guy on the bicycle looked at me angrily and asked me why I would do such a thing. I told him I was doing it for class and that I meant no harm by it. He said when I flung myself out of the car window, I scared him and he was afraid that he was going to loose control of the bicycle. I once again apologized. My friend then turned to me and told me that scaring cyclists was probably not a good idea; I reluctantly agreed. I didn’t want to see my deviant act correlate with an accident. I felt guilty after I did this deviant act and didn’t scare and more cyclists.

The second interaction took place on I-94 during rush hour traffic. I was going to stick my head out of the sunroof of my car and was doing the same type of gestures that I pulled on the cyclist. We pulled next to a motorist who was driving a Cadillac. I stuck my head out of the sunroof and tried to get the attention of the driver next to us. I knew he saw me, but he refused to look, so I started pointing at him and yelling, “hey look!” I was acting like a complete idiot. He finally looked over at me shook his head and shrugged his shoulders like it wasn’t a big deal. This made me feel upset because I couldn’t get a reaction out of this individual. I guess why these two reactions stand out is because of the fact that the cyclist was interactive with me and the driver had almost no reaction to my deviant act.

I received many different types of reactions to my deviant act some children made noises and faces back at me, which made me laugh and smile. Others seemed angry or upset that an adult was acting like a child. Someone even gave me the finger, which really made my blood boil because all I was doing was some social research for class. It seemed to me that the younger the individual the more reaction I received, and just the opposite of those who are older. When I received a reaction from someone, it really made me feel like a kid again. I would just like to add that I found this assignment to be very entertaining and I learned that people are not so easily amused by what is around them. Overall I would say that people’s values ultimately determine how they react to the deviant acts.