Is there ever a time that you feel uncomfortable at the most awkward times? When in line at a grocery store would be an example of this. When standing unreasonably close to someone in front of you in the checkout lane has an estimated limit to how close you really are. Our immediate expectation of the shoppers is for them to move forward in line or say something to you or get mad about what is happening. The point of my project was to stand behind a person in a grocery store so close that it came to the point of awkwardness. I was in line at Wal-Mart and there were about 5 people total in this line.
There was a middle-aged woman who looked like she is from an upper class family by the way she was dressed and how she associated herself with others that weren’t like her. My project was completely legal and ethical because it shows you how people who are in the upper class act. I’m not saying that all upper class people act one certain way, but with this really good example, you could get a good idea of it. Being a middle-class person, you could be intimidated by the way she was acting. It could be hard for many middle class people to find themselves associating with upper class people.
Many people that were in line with me reacted to as if I was being rude in her personal space. Their nonverbal cues were that I was just some annoying college student trying to rush through a line of people. Clearly, I was not acting like that because I didn’t feel like I was and because I would never stand so close to someone like that on a regular basis. There was an elderly couple in the lane beside me and they looked at me like I was crazy. They were staring me down and the lady was poking fingers and telling her husband things and then he’d turn around and look at me.
My reaction to all of this was that I know what I was doing it for. It came to my surprise though that some upper class people could really be rude. Also, I got to thinking that maybe they were like because of my skin color and/or culture. They probably stereotyped me as a Muslim because of the similarity between them and Indians. I honestly felt like the elderly couple had more discrimination towards me because of their non-verbal facial cues. I realized that no matter what anyone says, people are always going to be rude. Some are not racist and then those are the some that cannot stand to be around colored people.
I was not so comfortable when all of this was happening. The reason was because I felt like everyone else around was looking at me to, wondering why I was standing so close to this lady dressed in a tall, wool coat with pearls around her neck. I learned that some people have no problem with being so close and then there are those who do. I also learned that maybe if it was a middle-class person that I was standing so close by, he/she may feel different towards what I was doing. It was honestly a lesson learned for me to see how people act.
I believe that every person should always experience something like this just to see how some people really are and how some people like their personal space. If I wasn’t the one doing this experiment, but I was the one that was being tested with, I probably would feel uncomfortable with a stranger standing so close to me. That isn’t because that person isn’t like me, but it is because I like my space and do not like people in my personal bubble. It’s just a factor of having space and being able to move around without running someone over or shoving a little kid down.
In conclusion, it can be drawn that ethnomethodology relates to culture, deviance, socialization, and interaction in different ways. I believe that it could relate to culture and socialization more than anything. This is because these two are the main points for how people act towards one another. Socialization is the interaction of how people communicate. It has to do with everything that declassifies the upper class from the middle class from the lower class. It can also be said that the different age group of people also makes the difference of how people react to standing so close to them.
For example, if I had done it with a college student who was my age and my gender, she probably wouldn’t have been so uncomfortable with it because knowing the distance between two people is something she would just brush off and also maybe she could see that I had a lot of stuff in my hand and I needed to set it down. All in all, this project was a lesson to be learned from. I never realized how important it is to be in a particular class and then meet someone who was in a different class and you can automatically tell they are from the upper class just by the way they dress, act, and talk.