Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sociology Experiment At the Mall

[This was not for my class, but rather for a friend's class.  She and her boyfriend dressed up in full-on Goth make -up, and walked around the mall to get the reactions of people.  (This was for a sociology class).  I walked a few feet behind them, and wrote down what all the reactions were.  I then later typed up my notes on the computer, and gave it to my friend for her sociology paper.]

Google: drive, docs, pub

Joel Swagman
Bethany’s Psychology project
Professor Bethany Schultz
October 1, 1999

Observations at Woodland Mall

These are the observations we jotted down.  It should be noted when looking at these that not every thing was written down.  Many of the reactions were repetitive and not written down every subsequent time.  Also, while we were writing down some stuff, we missed others.
Also:  By my estimates over half of the people did not look twice.  All these reactions come from the other half.  Amber repeatedly said she didn’t think you guys looked all that weird.  It seemed to me you got more of a reaction from African-Americans-(my bias as an observer?).  As far as I can tell, all age groups reacted with equal frequency, but type of reaction differed.  Younger people tended to laugh, older people would look upset.  Any store you two went into, you were largely ignored-my guess b/c people were too absorbed in shopping
By the way, I’m horrible at guessing ages, and I don’t remember all that clearly, so every age mentioned is vague for that reason.  (When I say young people-or people our age-that could be anywhere from 15-25).

Whatever first store we were in
-Really not much of a reaction here until we got to Hall

-people look backwards-cran heads.

In video store
-Everybody on other side of store
-kids eyes got big-backed away from you two
-Guy nodded to you two

Hallway again
-Older couple walked passed you and smiled at eachother
-3 middle school girls “Did you see that?”
-2 old men shake heads after you passed by (this happened a couple times actually)
-someone did a double take, then stared at you
-conversation overheard (probably 20 something, two male African Americans)  “He had on lipstick” “Man, she had no lips”
-Mother looked, then smiled at her daughter
-guy looked and laughed
-man stared down the hallway at you two
-“Look at them” lady to husband-couple in 30s
-“Hey, nice hook-up”-referring to you two, guy approx. our age talking to female companion
-2 20 something African American females-one of them looked twice, made weird face to other
-“Those were ugly people”-guy to his girlfriend (approx. our age).
-3 guys our age sped up to look at you, then walked away

Largely ignored- a lady in her 40s laughed at you two

Hallway again
-several girls turned their heads as they watched you guys walk
-absolutely no reaction from Mall Safety

-again-largely ignored
-guy at counter turned head to look at you two
-little girl said “wow”
-Amber and I got weird looks from a 40 something lady (in store w/ kids).  Probably b/c we were running through the store writing things down
-People watched you two as you left the store-3 guys turned their heads as you left.

Hallway once again
-old man muttering “Black Capes, Black Capes”
-guy blinked in disbelief-then shook his head
-African American-20s something-points you two out to his kid
-little kid tries to follow you two

-when bought hair clips, lady at register wouldn’t look at you
-little girl smiled, waved, talked to Mom, pointing

Sitting in seats
-Guy w/ wife and daughters.  Covered daughters eyes-gave really dirty look
-“That is just so wrong” group of 20 something girls

-2 year old girl-smiling, laughing, sticking out tongue

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