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Social Scenario
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Posted 10/6/08 , edited 10/6/08
Hi everyone.

First of all, bear with me on my very long post.

I've been interested in the field of Sociology recently and I've been reading a lot on the social behavior of people around strangers. I have done many readings on this subject and I'm not convinced that the same books I read can still apply to modern society. Please keep in mind that the following scenario I present to you and the questions I ask you is by no means going to be used for my personal reasons in any way. I'm merely interested in the subject and I thought it would be interesting to open up this topic to others who also may have the same questions.

This survey is primarily targeted to students of all grades, but non-students are welcome to respond.



I------------------------I

I currently live on a school campus and I've been observing some of the school student's behaviors as part of my sociology observation. I've been watching precisely at late hours ranging from 9pm to 4am a few days a week to observe the way students behave around other students during this time.

In my observation, I've seen one particular person who has caught my interest. This person usually is seen around 12am to 2am most days walking in the same campus region commuting from his dorm to nearby stores/classes. This person is no one suspicious or dangerous - It appears that he commutes during these hours simply to either buy food from nearby fast food joints or returns from the library after a late hour of study (I assumed this from the large amount of text books which he carries and the pathway he takes.)

I've also noticed that individual people or groups of people (varying in size) usually avoid these kind of people who stroll around on campus as if they are a threat. My question here is not their precaution, but the precaution around students who clearly show no suspicious behavior or dangerous activities. His clothing attire and backpack are normally bright colors (white, blue, etc) and on some occasions dark.

Normally, the common reaction, or so I have read, is that people will avoid people like this individual because they don't know anything about the person. On the other hand, I've talked to some of my peers in class and out side of class and a good number of people say they wouldn't have any fear when approaching the person. Now...this is where my confusion arises.

Some people say that they have no fear of approaching a complete stranger as long as they don't possess any suspicious traits. On the other hand, from my personal observations, I see a contradiction.




So here are the following discussion questions:

First of all, I think it's important to know the region in which you live in and how dangerous the community is. How would you describe your area and how it affects your behavior around strangers:


If you have noticed a same individual walking alone (Assuming that the person has no suspicious traits), would you ever approach the person for a friendly greeting? Does the gender of the stranger affect your decision? (Example, are you more prone to approach a female or a male):

If the same person appears to be troubled(ex: crying), would you approach the person then?:



If this person approached you with a friendly greeting, what would your instant reaction be? Again, please bear in mind that we established the fact that he does not look suspicious and is a student in the same school.

Posted 10/6/08
Interesting observation. Talking about your scenario, I would infer that people will generally tend to avoid an individual at such a time regardless of whether they look threatening or not. At such a time, a stranger is more likely to be a threat compared to an individual in a given vicinity during the day. Of course the neighborhood you live in also factors in the overall stance people make when in proximity with an individual stranger. The area I live in is more or less "safe" despite being a college campus area.

As for your second question, I wouldn't approach the person for a friendly greeting not because he or she is a threat. It's just that for the most part, I see no point in making myself aquainted with the stranger. This may also be a subconscious trait but I'd feel more comfortable approaching a female than a male but overall it doesn't really affect my approach towards a stranger in general (at least in broad daylight).

Now for the third question, I would simply respond with a greeting back. However I would tend to avoid sparking a conversation out of the blue given the time of day and for the reason that there's no point in me being aquainted with the stranger. If he or she asks for help of some kind though that's a different matter and of course would do something within my power to offer some help.
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Posted 10/6/08
well
if it was a guy id be like thinking ohh he's so trying to start a conversation because he likes me or somthing ^^
lol but if it was a girl id think shes a lonner so i should be nice and talk back to her

~if that what you were even talking about??
Posted 10/6/08
o-kaaaaay......
both very long posts...sorry....
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76 / M
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Posted 10/6/08

kagome_a_emo wrote:

well
if it was a guy id be like thinking ohh he's so trying to start a conversation because he likes me or somthing ^^
lol but if it was a girl id think shes a lonner so i should be nice and talk back to her

~if that what you were even talking about??


Yeah.

I'm quite interested on how the gender of both you and the stranger affects your overall decisions.

From my understanding, it appears that cross gender meetings is, most of the time, assumed to be for "dating/sexual" reasons.
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32 / M / manila
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Posted 10/6/08 , edited 10/6/08
Since your curious to the person why not approach him, its no big deal just strike a conversation with maybe he's just a shy person or if he reacts violently(hoping not physically violent) he's just a plain loner. You wont know a person unless you spent a certain amount of time besides like bon jovi said "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND" maybe he's just longing for someone to approach and talk to him since he's shy or lack confindence(Darn I sounded like MR ETERNAL SUNSHINE...............LOL)
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69 / M / Limbo
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Posted 10/12/08
I live in a big city where everyone is basically an asshole to each other and crime is found at every corner. Naturally I'm going to distant and non-sociable to others, with a bit of paranoia and inexcitability.
Posted 10/13/08
First of all, I think it's important to know the region in which you live in and how dangerous the community is. How would you describe your area and how it affects your behavior around strangers:

The place I live in is one of the most popular place in United State. Judging on my school, it is better then most of the school in the East that had bad communities. My US History teacher said most of the US called us Psycho because; gay marriage is legal, Hollywood headquarter, popular place, etc; we do more stuff. The Area had less crime. For school its a group discussion. You see groups of friends talking to each other but there isn't actually much of a threat, but there is. some kids are smart ass. Most of the students is a smart ass which mean they don't have much affect on each other. Explaining why it doesn't affect, most of them are "Veteran" because they been a smart ass. You can cuss your friend without harm. Most doesn't support smart ass, mean they will fight back or ignore if they are being threatened. More then 10 random guys talk to me saying hey, and sup, and etc. School is mostly a good place, just don't cuss at someone you don't know. You can gain respect easily but become one of them (had bad attitude if your in the wrong groups)

If you have noticed a same individual walking alone (Assuming that the person has no suspicious traits), would you ever approach the person for a friendly greeting? Does the gender of the stranger affect your decision? (Example, are you more prone to approach a female or a male):

I am one of them. The fact that why I choose to be alone is the students attitude. Now, I talk with a couple of friends who are good. I learn that students who want to be popular in school can get bad reputation. One of the person I know keep getting yelled at "ah ha your in the military" "omg I don't want to be with you". It doesn't threatened but you get more bad attitude. IF I were to be popular, I would be here cussing out and don't care. Most lonely students might have some friends, but not a lot. In the other hand, most of them are shy.

How I made friend, most students can talk and make friends while most can't. I don't start making friends, they start talking to me and I became their friends. I'm the one who being greet. If I choose to talk with someone and be friend with them, they might have negative attitude. 80% of my friends are positive attitude and I don't have a IN your face attitude on someone. I also have a "right" policies of my own that I would most likely break our friendship if he/she make me mad. Gender do affect me. Mostly their look, dresses, and attitude. I don't hang with "gangsta" and for female, I hate some because because they look like they will demand stuffs. I only hang with one girl who is a friend of a friend of mine.

If the same person appears to be troubled(ex: crying), would you approach the person then?:

I would if I were a Hall monitor, High School Enforcement, or High School police typical stuff. But I'm not and I don't choose to help them. I can't stand up and help because I refused let other know me, but, I was afraid of presentation = afraid to stand up. Month by Month I speak up. Scared of presentation but still doing them now. If the person is in trouble but no one is helping or she/he is alone then I try to help.

If this person approached you with a friendly greeting, what would your instant reaction be? Again, please bear in mind that we established the fact that he does not look suspicious and is a student in the same school.

I like friendly greeting; reading my post I said I am friend to those who mostly greet.
1. A good friend in Middle School; 7th grade: In Middle School, on a bus line and waiting for a bus, I continue to wait. While we walk to the bus I look back and see a kid (hes fat). He say hi and I said hey. He told me his name and I told his my name. He pull out his hand and said greeting, and we shake hand. We became until I reach 8th grade. He introduced me to other friends. One is still in my High school but he hang with other friends. When we see each other we say "Hi" then "bye".

2. A good friend in High School; 10th grade: Our teacher told us we will swim. As we swim I see this (not racist) black person. We don't talk but when we swim we see each other many time. He said hey and I said hey. Next class, we need a partner for swimming practice. He told me if we could be partner then I said sure. Next class, we became partner. We became friends later on and I hang with his friend on 11th grade when a Best friend of my drop out and join a different school.

Those who give friendly greeting to me are respectful to me. We might get in a small fight but it a small fight/discussion. Those who talk to other can get a bad friend. A friend of my in Elementary school attend the same High school as I do. I don't hang with him and we don't talk anymore. Judging on him, he had negative friends. They are Asian. Some of his Asian friends I know got in a fight, in jail, or in a gang. Sorry for any grammar problem I'm not a English person, which I also understand that some sentence I post doesn't have to do with the question.
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27 / M / Bangalore,India
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Posted 10/13/08
i'm not a very sociable person, i get bored far too easily...
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23 / F / Asia
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Posted 10/13/08
First of all, I think it's important to know the region in which you live in and how dangerous the community is. How would you describe your area and how it affects your behavior around strangers:

My area is secluded. I live in a "suburban" type place but the houses don't look the same. I live in a catholic-christian community, I live near-by the village church.

I have not seen any bad things go on in my village but in the village, there are a lot of outsiders (meaning, workers like carpenters who build the houses inside but don't neccessarily live in the village as well)

My behavior around strangers is probably the same as others.

"Don't talk to strangers," as my mom & dad will always tell me.


If you have noticed a same individual walking alone (Assuming that the person has no suspicious traits), would you ever approach the person for a friendly greeting? Does the gender of the stranger affect your decision? (Example, are you more prone to approach a female or a male):

I am not the kind of person who approaches people easily. I don't walk up to somebody for the heck of it. Acquainting myself with strangers is exactly what parents don't want me to do.

Since I am a girl, I am more willing to approach another girl rather than a guy. I don't want to approach a guy, it would seem as if I'm "desparate" in a way~

If the same person appears to be troubled(ex: crying), would you approach the person then?:

Well, only if there are other people around. I don't like approaching people if I'm the only one there. It's safer to have other people around so that they can witness if something goes wrong.

Anyways, if the person were to be crying...I'd appraoch him/her and ask what's wrong. If they don't want to give me any personal details, I'll offer them my handkerchief and I'd be on my way.

If this person approached you with a friendly greeting, what would your instant reaction be? Again, please bear in mind that we established the fact that he does not look suspicious and is a student in the same school.

I don't approach people, I'd rather be appraoched to. I have no starter impressions but I'm easily impressed if you talk to me nicely.

If the person were to start a simple conversation, it's fine. I will only give my name but no other contact details. If I see the person again and we talk some more, I'll go ahead in becoming friends. Since we come from the same school, making a friend ain't so bad.
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Posted 10/13/08

h4x0rz wrote:

i'm not a very sociable person, i get bored far too easily...


haxor
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27 / M / Bangalore,India
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Posted 10/13/08

khryzalids wrote:


h4x0rz wrote:

i'm not a very sociable person, i get bored far too easily...


haxor :)


lol, if you moved from Dubai to Bangalore, and miss all the friends you made in 19 years, you'd get easily bored too.
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21 / M / UK
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Posted 10/13/08
I'm more of a hikkomori...lol
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24 / F / Intelligence Route
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Posted 10/13/08
Some of boys here look like bullies
and like to gallyvant at night by motorcycle but they don't hurt people.

If you have noticed a same individual walking alone (Assuming that the person has no suspicious traits), would you ever approach the person for a friendly greeting? Does the gender of the stranger affect your decision? (Example, are you more prone to approach a female or a male):


I am very okay with an individual walking alone,
whatever he/she does. Crying or wandering or reading or nothing,
I don't avoid them but I just dont have thing to talk to them.
Unless they need help, I have no problem with it.
I am easy approaching female ; because when I'm with male,
I appear to be cool/cold.

If the same person appears to be troubled(ex: crying), would you approach the person then?:

If someone is in trouble, I approach and say something witty. The rest is not my problem.
If he/she is crying, I dont approach at all. At least, I smile at her/him then leave.

If this person approached you with a friendly greeting, what would your instant reaction be? Again, please bear in mind that we established the fact that he does not look suspicious and is a student in the same school.

I don't mind that.
I really dont mind that.


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24 / F / Intelligence Route
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Posted 10/13/08
your question is fascinating.
it makes me wonder,
sociology can be great.
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