Men's Ethnomethodology Experiment

757 Words 4 Pages
Throughout society, all women have experienced unwanted sexual attention, which leaves them feeling uncomfortable and violated. Catcalls, a whistle, shout, or comment of the sexual nature usually directed at a woman, are a common method of conveying this attention. This method is considered a way for men to assert their sexual dominance over women, thus establishing society’s hierarchy. However, for my experiment I turned the unsolicited attention towards men by having a group of women comment on their physical attributes as they walked past. This is an ethnomethodology experiment because it breaks the social folkway, which claims that men must be the assertive individuals in society. By disrupting that balance men are confronted with playing …show more content…
The group wandered around campus for about two hours commenting on men they passed. The shouts directed at the passing men were chosen from a list of catcalls, composed of lines found on online forums for women, that each of the women was given. While, the first six shouted out, the seventh followed silently from behind and noted the passerby’s reactions based on the nature of the catcall. There were three categories of catcalls: Derogatory, Manipulative, and Directly Sexual. Derogatory includes phrases such as, “pretty boy,” and “baby cakes,” to demean the character of the subject and render their worth purely physical. Manipulative focuses around asking a question to force the subject into conversation, phrases such as “hey, excuse me,” were used. Lastly, Directly Sexual includes advances towards physical qualities, such as “nice ass,” to express the physical attraction of the user to the subject. Each category was tested at least five times using different calls and performed on different …show more content…
Nonmaterial culture refers to abstract ideas that are not embodied by physical objects, but represents social roles and beliefs in society. The social rule being the submissive place for women in society and the belief is that men must be the aggressors in relationships between the sexes. The experiment disrupts society’s normal hierarchy by placing the women in the aggressive role. The displacement left both the men and the women in the experiment feeling disoriented and awkward. Thus, demonstrating that the nonmaterial culture practiced in society is so deeply ingrained that to stray from it leaves individuals unsure of their position in society. Furthermore, the experiment revealed the if an individual were to stray from their regular role in society they will revert back to it once confronted with the

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