For this field study, you will intentionally break unwritten rules of interaction in social spaces using Ethnomethodology’s method of Breaching. I encourage you to do multiple breaches and choose the best two to analyze in your report. The two breaches you write up should be different from each other (different spaces, different rules broken, etc).
An effective write-up for this assignment must include detailed, step-by-step description of the interactions. This means you must describe how the people involved reacted to your breach and how they tried to repair the disjuncture. Include description of how they experienced the disruption of the rules, if possible (you might have to ask them about this to get their perspective). If possible and appropriate, debrief the people involved and let them know why you did what you did.
In your write-up, begin by introducing each of your two breaches, including the physical/virtual space, social situation, people involved, and implicit rule. Share how you decided on these two types of breaches. That should be in the first paragraph. Then, in the rest of the report (up to the conclusion), systematically analyze in detail how you breached the invisible, unwritten rules of interactions in those two social spaces. In the conclusion, reflect on what you learned within the context of your personal experience/thoughts and our course material.
You should address each of the following:
identify the unwritten rules that you breached and whether you knew what they were to begin with; analyze how people reacted (including you); how they noticed that you broke a rule (that there was a disturbance); how they attempted to repair the disturbance; if the rules were reestablished; and what this reveals about the moral order of the rule(s) in that situation.
NOTE: I recommend you experiment with multiple breaches to get a sense of possible variability in what happens, then choose the best two to write about.
IMPORTANT! Do not do anything that could be dangerous, threatening, or harmful–including emotionally– to anybody, including yourself. Do not perform this activity in our class, with your classmates, with your instructor, or with vulnerable populations. Be aware of power dynamics and how the others might perceive you. Note that breaching activities may be done with people whom you know.
This report should be 2-3 pages long and properly formatted.