Back-talking to Parents in Public

(A Deviant Assignment)


On July 12th around 11:00 a.m. I went to the JewelOsco in Tinley Park with my parents. I told them that I had to do a project for my sociology class and I would like them to do it with me. I told them what I had to do and that I was going to back talk to them. They laughed at first but then they said that they couldn’t be happier to help.

WhenI first started to give my parents an attitude at Jewel, people were just giving us looks. This one lady stopped and gave me the hardest look I have seen, I was scared she was going to do something. There were many others that did this. People that did this generally didn’t do much. They weren’t too scary and they didn’t say anything. This shows that people these days don’t want to get into other peoples business. It also shows that people are scared to help other people out.

But this one man stopped and listened for a little bit and started yelling at me for talking the way I was at my parents. He said,” You shouldn’t treat your parents the way you are right now because without them, you wouldn’t be here.” This man had no idea who we were and he still yelled at me like I was part of his family. When this man started yelling at me it scared me so much that I wanted to tell him it was only a joke and it was part of a school project right then and there. But if I did that then I wouldn’t have gotten his reaction. After I told him that this was a joke he laughed it off and went on with his shopping. I’m still pretty scared and I don’t think I will back talk anymore to my parents for fear that this will happen again.

Solidarity refers to the level of connectedness a person feels to others in the environment. I felt a level of scariness from the people around us. I felt that some people were going to hurt me because of the way I was acting. They were giving that kind of vibe that I felt threatened by them. I think they felt that I was a brat that usually got everything I wanted and if my parents weren’t going to do something about it they would.

Sociological imagination is the ability to look beyond the individual as the cause for success and failure and see how ones society influences the outcome. I feel that the reason some people said something was so that this attitude wouldn’t continue and it would end somy kids or their kids wouldn’t end up like that. They could have thought that society has forced this behavior on me because a lot of kids act like that.

Community learning is when individuals and groups work to identify and address issues of public concern. People stepped in so that this public concern (me) could possibly end. If they said something at least it gave me something to think about the next time I did this. If I talk back to my mom someone I don’t know could come up and start yelling at me. The next time I do that I will stop myself because I don’t want to get yelled at.

Field research is research conducted in a natural setting. Since I went out to Jewel and people didn’t know this was a test they acted differently. If they knew this was a test and saw a camera or a video camera they wouldn’t have acted the way they did. This is important to do field research so that I get a correct outcome. If I gave them a survey of how they would react to the situation they would throw it away, not answer correctly or not do it at all.

Norms are rules developed for appropriate behavior based on specific values that are conditional. What I have done was breaking the norm of treating your parents with the utmost respect. When this happens people tend to do something about it to make it right again. For example, if you walk down the wrong side of the hallway people will give you looks and hit you so that you know you’re on the wrong side and to go back to the right way.