Let's Dance

On a warm Sunday afternoon, June 5th, 2011, I went to the Super Target in Tinley Park (191st and Harlem) around 1:45 p.m. for a cool Starbuck drink and a plan in my head. After thinking for a while of what could be done as a legal deviant act, I decided to dance it out. In the parking lot, various cars were pulling in and out of the Super Target as people hurried in and out of the store. For a moment I thought it was incredible how this Super Target had so much traffic going on. If this store had only half the amount of customers it had now, what would happen to the store; would it still continue business as usual; or would it had to lay off some employees? If the lay off occurred, then what would be of those lay off employees, and would their life struggle? So I learned that in order for human to survive, human needed other humans to grow and develop normally. The businesses needed the consumers as badly as the consumers needed the employers, and it was inevitable circle of survival.

Within Super Target, the Starbuck Coffee was easily located at the entrance, and of course there was a waiting line. Some people read magazines and books next to a cup of Starbuck Coffee, while some others were eating, drinking, and chatting to each other. The coffee kitchen seemed petite for three employees who constantly made non-stop drinks without looking up. Soon I was in line for my caramel frappuccino, and I started to dance as soon as I got in line. Stepped to the left, stepped to the right, and clapped my hands together. Right hand up toward the sky as I stepped to the left, left hand up toward the sky as I stepped to the right, and did the same for a couple more time. Then I did the whole thing again with step to the left and right and clapped my hands, and then I turned around faced a tall, dark skin woman. The woman was about forty something, raised her eyebrows and reviewed her big eyes toward my dance. I got a feeling that she didn’t very much like my dance, or maybe she thought that I was making fun of her as she was raising her eyebrows. However, I continued to dance as I reached the cashier and ordered while my feet were still moving. The guy cashier was about my age said to me, “hello…can I get your order?” What was with him, he said hello to me, then he paused for a few seconds and had a confused look on his face. Again I got the feeling that he didn’t enjoy my dance but rather annoyed, but he still had to be nice to me since I was still a customer. If he wasn’t at a working place, he might tell me to get lost. What could have hold him off not to act out; could it be because he didn’t want to lose his job; or could it be he does not want to embarrass me more than I was? And why would dance in a public place seem so embarrass and awkward to carry out? There was absolutely nothing wrong in my act, but it sure was unusual to suddenly do it out of nowhere. Thinking about sociology, I wondered if the guy cashier’s behavior was influenced by culture. Indeed, culture seemed to play a big role in one’s behavior. The cahier did not act out because he did not want to lose his job and more importantly he did not want to be judge by others, and did his role as a cashier.

After I got my drink, I drove home as I was thinking about other people’s expression at the time I was dancing in the store. I noticed that the majority of people just looked at me for a few seconds and went on with their life as if what I did wasn’t very interesting. Some teenagers walked by and started laughing and whispering to each other like I was such a weirdo. In return, I gave them a grin and waved my hand to them. Some actually waved their hands back to me as if they encouraged me to dance some more. I felt fun dancing in a public place as much as embarrassment, but at the same time I felt powerful since I did something that others could just watch. I felt powerful because I was not strain by culture’s norm and was able to act out. But I also felt lucky that nobody whom I knew was there at that moment to witness my deviant act or else I would never heard the end of it. Yes, I too was afraid to be judge by others. Then the theory of Erving Goffman that all life is like dramaturgy bulged out of my head(Nelson 16). Life was an imperfect act that individual tried to perfect through out daily behaviors. For example, if Paris Hilton looked confident and partied a lot, then it was because she chose to act with confident and had lots of fun. If Barack Obama wanted to run for another term as president, then he chose to act formal and did as much as he could to help the country and himself. Life was all an act, and that was how individual chose to live according to Erving Goffman.

However, how individual chose to act was very much depended on the external forces because if one wanted to act like a millionaire, but he couldn’t act like one no matter how much he wished if he did not have the available wealth. The wealthy and powerful people could act in certain ways that the poor could not, and vice versa. What could make such a different between the rich and the poor? As I learned from this course, neighborhood and education played a big role in social class (Nelson 23). At first I agreed that neighborhood could affect the social class if one area has greater carrying capacity or resources, it could provide more goods and services compared to other areas with lesser resources. But then I did not see how education could make the gap between social classes as it did. I knew that America provided public schools available to all children until twelve grades, so every child basically started out life at the same level. But it wasn’t necessarily true due to the available resources the schools had to provide a good education for children. Then I sadly learned that rich neighborhood would provide greater goods and services at school compared to poor neighborhood that lived dollar by dollar and hardly ever had the extras for school. That was when education contributed to the gap between social classes nowadays. So what could one possibly do to change his social status when he was in a disadvantaged position? He could not ask for help from his neighborhood nor his school, then asking help from the government seemed to the only way out. I believed that government was the only hope to help the poor. In America, the government was originally established of the people and for the people whether it was the rich or the poor; everyone lived in America was the people that the government was created for. So I strongly believed that as one unit, the government, the rich, and the poor could work together to improve the social status for every individual that lived in this liberty and justice land.

Work Cited

Nelson, Tim. Introduction to Sociology: Lecture 3-The Sandbox. 16. Jun. 2, 2011.
Nelson, Tim. Introduction to Sociology: Lecture 4-US and the Others. 23. Jun. 6, 2011.