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Big Idea:

Social Norms


When I first sat down to think of a Big Idea that I wanted to focus on for a whole quarter, my mind went blank. I thought “How can I know what will keep my interest that long? What if I choose something and then lose interest?” After much debate about what I am intrigued by and brainstorming several Big Ideas, I narrowed my choice to “social norms.”

    • Questions I Want to Explore
  • What are social norms?
  • What do I want to say about social norms?
  • How are social norms formed?
  • What are the purposes of social norms within a society?
  • What happens when social norms are broken?
  • What happens when the amount of conflicting social norms rises?
  • How have current social norms evolved positively from past norms?
  • How have current social norms evolved negatively from past norms?
  • How do these changes affect our daily lives?
  • How do these changes affect society as a whole?
  • How will these changes affect our future society?
  • How do social norms differ from location to location?
  • What social norms are more accepted in our culture?
    • Key Concepts
      • Social norms evolve.
      • Social norms influence behaviors.
      • Social norms are explicit or implicit.
      • Social norms are unwritten rules for society.
      • Social norms become the written laws for society.
      • Social norms are expectations about behaviors, thoughts and feelings.
      • Social norms have consequences.
      • Social norms stem from values.
      • Social norms evolve based on shifts in values.
      • Social norms differ by situation, location, culture, and religion.
      • Social norms are affected by outside influences stemming from culture and immigration.
      • Social norms can be mores or folkways.
      • Social norms are rewarded or punished by sanctions.
      • Social norms vary in importance both to individuals and society.
  • Discuss what you find significant and intriguing about your big idea and topic.

I find it intriguing how many social norms have changed from what they were a few decades ago to today. I wonder about the correlation between changing social norms and behavior problems at school and crime in general. I think the change in social norms is significant because it affects so much of our lives and what is expected (or no longer expected) from us. I question whether locations where social norms have not changed greatly over the past few decades have as many social problems as we do in this area. I also wonder what social norms will be like in the future and if the good in society will continue to deteriorate as norms change. I feel like the change in social norms effects us all. From the way we communicate to the way to the way we live our lives, social norms affect us. I think the changing social norms in public education will produce a future society that lacks respect for your fellow man, lacks the ability to communicate face to face, and views laws as simply suggestions rather than guidelines. I feel this is important to others because it affects every aspect of the way we live our lives now and the way we live them in the future. I want viewers to question the way we are teaching our future generation to learn and to act. I also want to make the viewers question the way we treat each other and the consequences of our everyday decisions.