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Important information about Norms

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Sociologists recognize norms in two different categories; formal and informal. These formal and informal categories govern every culture's daily activities.

If you were asked to temporarily take the position of a high school principal, from a sociological perspective, what norms would you want to govern the student's behavior?

Could you please include the type of norm you would suggest and provide examples please.

How might these norms differ from those appropriate for college students?

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Establishing norms and values is a part of forming a society and building a culture. Norms and values evolve as new technologies or social movements are diffused into a society. For instance, when I was a child in the 1970s divorce was scandalous. I remember when the parents of a girl in my elementary school divorced mainly because it was such a big deal at the time. Obviously our society now has adopted new views of marriage and subsequently divorce. The current norm is that divorce happens.

Norms, once understood, tend to dictate our behavior. It is the norm in the United States for all people to wear clothes in public and for women to wear clothes that cover their entire torsos. A woman who walks around topless in public definitely goes against the norm. We learn in our early childhood what these norms are and we follow them up until the point we decide - either as a culture or a subculture - that we don't like the way things are. Maybe that means women stop wearing shirts, that we accept and understand that some marriages end in divorce, or that we decide it is OK to be "fashionably late."

I helped another student with a question about subcultures. I want to give you a definition I found for him at ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides assistance and advise in tackling the topic of formal and informal norms as set in the original question (see above). It is scenario-based and as such the solution is also based on the proposed scenario (the suggested norms to govern student behavior in a high school).

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Team Norms and Procedures

The comment was made that norms are implicit, and tend to develop over time. However, it was also observed that virtual teams can not afford the luxury of such a passive process, and need to take proactive steps to establish explicit norms. For this case, please complete the following:

- Identify 10 specific behavioral norms (five communication and five task norms) that you feel are essential to the smooth performance of virtual teams.
- Explain why you feel these norms are essential.
- Propose a specific action plan virtual teams could use to develop and enforce task and communication norms.

Use the background readings (attached) to support your arguments. The following reading provides some additional ideas for how a co-located team could an engage in norm-setting. You should model your action plan for virtual teams after this type of analysis.

Case Reading
- Karten, N. (2003). Creating Team Norms. Retrieved February 2008 from
http://www.stickyminds.com/sitewide.asp?Function=edetail&ObjectType=COL&ObjectId=6736

This should be a 3-5 page paper. PLS, utilized the mentioned articles in the background readings as your reference in this assignment.

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In the Session Long Project for this course, you are working with several classmates as a virtual team on a competitive project. This project involves assessment of both group and individual work. Your team's process and task output will serve as the material for this SLP. Please remember to respond to the TD that is set up for your team.

Review the rules for the team project, "Virtual Teams: 101 Tips". By now your team has submitted two lists of tips. You will now prepare a final list of original tips. By the end of this module, submit that list of tips along with a 2-3 page analysis that addresses the following questions:
1. What communication and task norms operate in your team? Remember that norms can be "unspoken".
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To be sure, your list of norms could be quite lengthy. Try to limit your paper to a few of the most important ones.

This checklist may help you evaluate your team's norms:

- Team Norms. (n.d.). http://www.wilsonmar.com/teamnorm.htm#Assembly

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