Going Bananas


In a breaching experiment the researcher breaks common social norms and looks for the reactions of the people around him. The breaching experiment for our class was to for each student to wear their Halloween costume the day after Halloween. Not too many people dress up the day after Halloween so for someone to wear a Halloween costume the day after would cause others to think that that person is weird or not being normal.

In my breaching experiment I wore a banana costume throughout some parts of the day on November 1st. I wore my costume in class and after class I wore it for a while I was eating lunch with friends at the bench outside the cooler. My friends asked me why I was wearing it today and I would jokingly answer with “Why Not?,” but then I would explain that it was for my sociology class. Other students and staff that passed by me looked at me funny but they didn’t say anything. I then wore it to Spanish class for the first few minutes and some people would ask me why I was wearing it today but I could tell that they were sort of thinking that I was ridiculous or that I was wearing my banana costume just to get attention.

I didn’t actually wear my banana costume to class in the morning because I didn’t want people giving me confused looks and because I felt like people would begin questioning why I was wearing. I put on my costume was I was in class because I knew the class would not think I was crazy. I also chose not to wear my complete costume with the banana piece that comes with it for a few reasons: I didn’t feel like carrying or walking around with my costume after and most importantly I felt like I would be going overboard by wearing my complete costume. Even though I could have easily covered my face with my mask I was still worried of how I was presenting myself and focused on managing my impression.

Based on my breaching experiment, I feel that breaching experiments are important for understanding just how much power influence social norms and the people around you have on the actions you take.

Questions/ interests

For the most part when I wore my costume on Halloween and the day after most people liked it and thought it was funny, but I wonder if a woman wearing a comedic costume would have received the same kind of response I did since the types of costumes that are usually expected to be worn by women aren’t expected to be funny.

What are the social rules for college males and females for choosing a costume?

How are males and females influenced/ policed by media, friends, parents, etc, to choose a particular costume?



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3 thoughts on “Going Bananas

  1. i think that your research question is very interesting. I believe that some costumes there is room for women to change their costumes. i feel that this often depends on the context of the party as well as that womans place in the group. Sadly i feel this is part of a large issue of gender oppression for women. Men can often get away with doing what women cannot. This doesn’t always apply for men, generally if they dress up as women, but this again is part of the large context of gender inequality.

  2. I think it’s important to note the role that capitalism has on Halloween. Society says its not acceptable to re-wear the same costume twice in one weekend so the individual is forced to spend over at least $50 at a Halloween store for a costume they will only wear once in their life! To answer your second question I definitely think males and females are policed by the culture industry. The culture industry is responsible for manipulating us to think we need a new costume every year–even on our low college budget.

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