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For my sociology experiment, I chose to act like a stranger in my own house. The way I did this was by doing small things such as asking other people, mainly my brothers, to do things such as get me drinks and bring me in my dinner. I noticed while carrying out my experiment that even though my brothers may not have necessarily been happy to be bossed around by me, they still did everything that I asked them to do without question. I think this is because they saw my identity seemed as if it had changed, and they therefore felt that because I was acting like a guest in my own house, that I should be treated in that way.
I am going to carry out my experiment by acting like I am a stranger in my own house, by asking other people to do things for me, and also not doing things such as laying down on the couch. I am going to do it during a weekend because it is the time when I am at home for the longest periods of time after I have finished working and it is also when everyone else is most likely to be in. I don’t think that there are any ethical implications from me carrying out this experiment, as I don’t think that it can cause anyone any long term ill-health or create any side-effects that are long-term.
It could possibly cause someone stress whilst I am carrying out my experiment as it could make them be rushed and feel under pressure to do what I tell them to do and could also be very annoying if I was always waiting for them to tell me what to do, such as taking my shoes off when I go in the house. I think that because I was acting in a strange way, they gave me a new social identity, which was not that of a brother or a son, but of a stranger living in the same house as them. Even though I kept my own personal identity, I managed to change my social identity for a small amount of time.
Although at first they didn’t seem to understand what I was doing by asking them to get me things, they soon realised that if they didn’t do it for me that I wouldn’t get it at all, so they felt as if they were almost being forced to get things for me. I felt that norms like me being more responsible and having to look after my brothers were no longer in place and that although they knew that I was in charge, they were the ones that ultimately had to take control and act as if they were hosts.
I think that towards the end of my experiment that my brothers were getting a bit frustrated with having to do things that I told them to do, and also with them having to tell me where to sit etc. However, my own feelings were not affected, and if anything, I felt as if it was a nice change for me to be able to ask my younger brothers to get me things, instead of the usual situation it is whereby they are always asking me for things.