As we know by now, a social norm is what society views as “normal” amongst a society. They provide us with expectations about how one should behave and carry themselves within the environment they live in. Norms are very dependent on a couple of factors including the region you live in, your personal social group, and the cultures you identify with. The norms Americans identify with can be quite different from those that the British might identify with. With that being said, there are many norms that exist within America as well with the many different cultures it encompasses. With norms being the standards and expectations that a group is expected to hold, there are of course many types of sanctions that come along with norms. For example, if you decide to skip in line here at UT, your sanction can be anywhere from strange looks to being confronted by angry peers. Not only do norms help us identify with different groups and give us a sort of identity, but they also can provide order and civilization within a society.
Now that we have a basic understanding on what a norm is, we can relate the subject to an event that has been occurring in Israel for some time now. A headline being made known is how Israel’s Ultra- Orthodox Jews are skipping Passover cleaning and going on a “vacation”. The classic Jewish holiday Passover is well known for the strict rules on eating, and the infamous cleaning of hametz in the household. To ensure all the hametz in the house is long gone, Ultra-Orthodox Jews take part in rigorous cleaning measures. Some of the cleaning takes part in little places like couches and books, which is very time consuming, and to some brings back the horrible memories of the holiday, but it’s seen as a norm to prepare the house for Passover. But as times are changing, we can observe how the norms of society and social groups also change with them. Over recent years, Ultra-orthodox Jews are combating the problem of cleaning every inch of their homes to an easier alternative; why not move out for the week long holiday? Families are now moving out of their homes right before Passover to avoid the cleaning process of their homes. This new norm is becoming more wide spread and more acceptable amongst the culture. The hotels are kosher and can be found in Israel but also a few other places in Europe, making them more widely available and acceptable amongst these Jews. Although some Ultra-orthodox Jews highly frown upon leaving the home for Passover, this new norm is showing high acceptance amongst this social group as well.
Goldman, Mordechai. “Israel’s ultra-Orthodox skip Passover cleaning, go on vacation– Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East.” Al-Monitor. Al-Monitor, 28 Apr. 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.