Dog Gone Wild



Social deviance could be simply defined as going against the everyday social normal activities. These deviant acts could be as simple and little as walking on the other side of a hallway or against the foot traffic in a busy area. Though these smaller deviant acts do get noticed usually they do not get big responses from the people around and usually get pushed off; therefore to get bigger responses the deviance act would have to be bigger, more bazaar, or perhaps almost illegal. Although one would like to avoid getting arrested as much as possible, so an act that is less risky is more advised but sometimes certain things need to be done to get the data and results a good sociologists desires. The act I chose to stir up society with was not real small but it also was not so extreme that I could be arrested for doing.

My act I committed was more of a bazaar act, so not an intense almost illegal one; the idea for my act came from watching the show “Wilfred.” In my act I dressed up as a dog, my costume was just white sweat pants and a sweatshirt that was painted with black spots. The costume was complete with some dog ears and a tail, to complete the effect that I was a Dalmatian. After I was dressed up I walked around performing everyday activities, such as going to the store, walking outside, and going to the park. One can say I was really performing the theory of dramaturgy, since I was dressing up in a role and was acting another role (Carl 2010, 4). Before I started the act I realized that just doing everyday activities would not grab a large response from the people that would see me, so I added another level to my act and that was switching the role of ‘walk the dog’ and my friend and me performed a ‘walk the human.’
While dressed up as a dog and walking around doing everyday activities, people did have responses but the responses were not big ones even though I expected that. Most responses I received from people were blank or very confused stares. However I did draw some slightly bigger responses from some people such as yelling phrases at me like, ‘Halloween is over’ or I had one person yell ‘if I would like a treat.’ The people who were yelling statements at me were usually from a car because the people I saw on the street and at the park were usually limited to stares and I saw one person take a picture. The reactions from the public were a direct correlation (Carl 2010, 6) to me being dressed up as a dog; I know this because the civilians were minding their own business until I showed up and then the people stopped what they were doing. The even better part of my deviant act was when my friend and I did the ‘walk the human,’ now this part probably drew the most confused, blank stares. Some people even seemed concerned, but they were really concerned about nothing. Could the people be concerned about mine and my friend’s lives or were they concerned about their safety.

On our little walk we passed by the dog park, and in the short time there I probably got the most reactions. First we walked up to the fence that separates the free running dogs and the public; I did not want to go into the area because I did not know how a bunch of dogs would act since they could be more unpredictable than humans. As we were walking up to the dog park some of the dog owners saw us and just kept staring, and when we walked up to the fence there were a number of dogs just barking at us and some of the quieter ones just were sniffing around our area. I wish I could have entered the park but how some of the dogs were barking I think the right decision was made not to go in. We were only by the fence for a minute or two when one of owners came up to us and told us to leave, so we left not to make a big commotion amongst the public and that was the final part of my deviant act. The man actually showed leadership of his little group he had, the group of dog owners at the park (Carl 2010, 17), and his style was a little democratic (Carl 2010, 23) because he confirmed with his other group members that me and my friend were creating a loud, annoying situation with the dogs barking and he proposed to get us away from the park. Which then he came up to my friend and I and told us he would like us to leave.

What I learned from my act to disrupt the normal flow of society and how society acts to something out of the normal; was that people really try to ignore that fact of something different as much as possible. Out of all the people I encountered through my act I would say that 90% of the people just stared at me and the rest yelled something to me either from a car or street but it would mostly be from a car. This then goes back to people of society trying to ignore the fact or get away from something out of the norm, or the everyday values and tasks (Carl 2010, 15), the majority that actually acknowledged me were yelling from a car. Responding from a car is easy because there is only time for one phrase and then the car zooms off away from the alien act. My act did not go unnoticed; however people did not act or respond as big as I wanted. So next time when I go to disrupt society I will have to step up my act to something more extreme, perhaps a border-line illegal act? Although there are still more possible situations to put a dog suit into the mix and stir up society once again or maybe add more people in different dog suits.