Social Norms Conflict and Its Impact on Schooling Essay

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Conflict of social norms and its effect on school environment

Social norms can be defined as the rules that determine what should be done or avoided by people in their social settings and circumstances. Norms make sure that people keep promises, ranging from the lane to drive on, to sticking by the golden rule. These are tools for explaining phenomena. They are used to analyze the state of the world even as great as international diplomacy or as subtle and ordinary as traffic rules. However, the body of knowledge regarding norms is spread across disciplines and traditions of research with unclear guidelines or consensus on the way the term should be put to use. Existing research on the subject has largely majored on the effects of the norms and the content of the same. By description, social norms cut across such disciplines as sociology, game theory, economics, and legal studies so as to offer an integrated theoretical and scientific of the way norms emerge, persist, or ebb out (Hechter and Opp 4).

The purpose of social norms is to act as the balancing device for the expectations of a people in their daily interactions that are complex. Norms determine a broad range of issues such as the right to property ownership, bargains, contracts perceptions and concepts regarding justice, communication forms and bargains. Norms ensure that there is uniformity in people’s behavior in a particular social group but frequently vary significantly between groups. Changes occur to norms over time. Such changes may be triggered by changes in circumstances or by subjectivity in the way people view life and the general expectations. The intricacies of the process can be tailored along the evolutionary game theory which highlights that there are norms that are more stable than others over the long term (Hechter and Opp4).

In some situations, norms tend to come into conflict with interests at both group and individual level. The seeming anomalies can be analyzed by reviewing, keenly, the interests under focus in specified circumstances. People, at individual level, take interest in the outcome of their behavior. Such individuals may also benefit from the fact that they belong to a group. In other words, individuals also have an interest in the survival of the general community. Under risky and uncertain circumstances; particularly when the hope for individual achievement is blurry, the gains of being a member of a group supersede the individual aims. Consequently, it is unlikely for individuals to accept that others engage in such activities as getting work outside. They believe that such a move would make the group weak (Hechter and Opp17).

In order to internalize the social norms conflict in a better way, Bodega Dreams brings into perspective the Spanish Harlem gentrification and the attempts of the charismatic ex- Young Lord, William Irizarry. He is better known in EL Barrio as Willie Bodega, to rebuild the neighborhood while maintaining its affordability for the immigrants of Latino origin. Bodega makes use of the proceeds from his drug peddling to strike deals with the NY city officials of planning after putting them under duress. He plans to bring up an El Barrio social class that are college graduates that would spur with the white yuppies that have settled within the Spanish Harlem , and therefore, give something back to the community.

In an explanation given by Ernesto Quinonez, the implication of fourteen families rioting for Bodega is demonstrated. These are families that are willing to die on behalf of Bodega. The image which Bodega wants Chino to get of him is exemplified by Ernesto’s demonstration. His objective is to take care of the Spanish Harlem people. Bodega, of course expects total loyalty from the people he so cares for. Bodega carries out a wide range of unorthodox activities and business; the more following he attracts the better. He makes sure that he is surrounded with people to make sure that when it is time to react, he sits still (Quinonez 29).

The essence of social identity cannot be overemphasized.

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It is yet another aspect of social conflict that Ernesto highlights. When an individual vies themselves as a member of a particular group and views other people as belonging to other groups, it has some clear consequences on that they think of others and how their attitude towards them. Categorizing makes people to highlight similarities and differences between groups. The process is of a major significance to social groups because such groups are commonly assumed to represent categories that are natural. In other words, the categories are assumed to contain an element of the person’s nature (Thye and Lawler 236).

If one has a name apart from the one that was given to them by their mother, it means that one had school status or even the status around the block where one lived. It means that if one was called by their true name, they were meaningless and useless. It meant that you were to be the punching bag of the lot. Sapo enlightened me that it did not matter losing the fight that mattered, not backing down. It was better to be seen losing fights than backing down. It meant that the older fellows would hesitate before picking a fight with you (Quinonez 4).

It was all written on the wall. If I was to get a name, it meant that I had to fight and earn it. Sapo told me that if I backed down once, i would keep backing don for the rest of my life. Sapo as the type that beat other kids around but he was different. Sapo never showed a need for a teacher. He was arguably the ugliest yet meanest kid on the block was my friend. I was hopeful that with such an arrangement, there was hope, and that I would probably get my name sooner. I dropped the name Julio, which was my name from home. I wanted to get myself a great name such as that of Julio. I, therefore, sought fights (Quinonez 4).

Nazario mixed his education with a politeness trait. He endeared himself to the rest of the crew. He was respected and even feared in the neighborhood. While he had a pleasant smile, he also had an ever busy head that was also full of genius. He did not look like Bodega. Nothing missed his black eyes. He looked as if he could read one’s mind. Such a description by Quinnonez can be highlighted as the evidence of how influential formalized education in the Spanish Harlem community. It shows how the education that Nazario had and his behavior gave him a chance to wield so much power with no significant dirty work done on his part. He can manipulate his surroundings because of his education and knowledge. I believe that Willy’s description of Nazario’s eyes show aspects of how they related. Whereas, Willy’s eyes are filled with sadness, and Nazario possesses “black holes”, it demonstrates the dependence of Willy on Nazario. Nazario offers the old tough ways that helps them get things done. The funeral offers a chance to show just how much people loved Bodega. Chino points out that, at the cemetery the crowds were so large. Chino likens them to moss. There were too many young people around. They were uncountable. I realized that the many young people were, actually, the college students that Bodega was paying school fees for. They even started singing a song (Quinonez 208).

Self evaluation, depersonalization and social categorization offer intergroup and group behavior a distinguishing mark. Nevertheless, the practical group behavior content is influenced by a more social dimension of your identity, socially. The stereotypes, particularly, we have of our groups and those of others are just a description but functional too. The stereotype of….....

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Works Cited

Hechter, Michael, and Karl-Dieter Opp, eds. Social norms. Russell Sage Foundation, 2001. EBSCOhost, saintleo.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1069640&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Mateu-Gelabert, Pedro, and Howard Lune. “Street Codes in High School: School as an Educational Deterrent.” City & Community, vol. 6, no. 3, Sept. 2007, pp. 173–191. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1540-6040.2007.00212.x.

Quin?onez, Ernesto. Bodega Dreams. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2000.

Thye, Shane R., and Edward J. Lawler. Social Identification in Groups. JAI Press Inc, 2005. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=166729&site=ehost-live

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