Talking to a Street Boy Applying Norms

Talkingto a Street Boy: Applying Norms

Conversingwith a street boy differs to a great extent from talking to otherindividuals in a typical society setup. Street life is majorlygoverned by some values such as loyalty, trust, hierarchy as well aspersonal connections. Under all circumstances, these values aremaintained. In the Street Corner Society book by William Foote Whyte,individuals in Connersville are not free to talk to strangers. Inmost cases, it relates to a contemporary world where most people mindtheir business and only help when consulted. The essay will discussthe norm of talking to street boys and how it is viewed in differentsocieties.

HowNorms shape Talking to a Street Boy

Whentalking to a street boy, one may be considered as an outsider or aninsider depending on the approach. Therefore, a method applied isessential to successful communication. An outsider may not recognizevalues used. Therefore, it may take them a long time to understandstructures of a particular society that cover their foreignness. Moststreet boys are cautious of what they talk and who they talk to so asto avoid landing into problems. It is so because there areinvestigators who majorly consider their activities and struggle tolook for money illegal.

Mynorms require adopting similarity in lifestyle, approachingcommunication at an insider angle to communicate effectively to astreet boy. It is similar to what is in Whyte`s Street Corner Societybook that the author has to fit in the society to talk to street kidseffectively. Whyte fails to get an individual in Connersville whowould talk to him about life and norms in the slum. He eventuallygets a friend that he calls ‘doc` who introduces him to colleaguesand nurtures him on how to approach matters. It is apparent thatdirect questioning does not attract correct responses, and one has toobserve.

Normsand the Shaping of Social Life

Normsrefer to traditions, cultural values, and customs that governindividuals` behavior in society. They determine approaches ofmatters depending on age, gender and social classes. Good normsensure that in that particular community that they are practiced theyhelp maintain harmony and discipline. Therefore, they determineindividual judgment on what is right or wrong. Norms define when oneis talking about respect, loyalty or at considerable personalconnections. Talking, therefore, should accommodate these values, andit is subject to analysis and drawn opinions. In as much as all havefreedom to speech, talking should be aligned to societal norms.

NormsDifferently viewed

Talkingto street boys is taken differently in different societies. As statedabove, in my societal norms one has to approach it at an insiderlevel to acquire accurate information. In the case of Connersville inWhyte`s Street Corner Society book, one requires observing more thantalk. In some societies, for one to fit in they have to speak to thestreet boys who will introduce them to real life situation. They arewelcoming to strangers, and they are expected to know around andoften hired as tour guides. They are also projected to providesecurity, and it is in their hands that one feels safe.


Inconclusion, norms in a society determine various activities than anindividual may consider involvement. Rules define approach of matterswhere talking to street boys is not an exceptional. In most cases,street kids are deemed to have a comprehensive knowledge of theirsociety. In some communities, they are accommodative and help guide avisitor. In other cases, they are governed by loyalty to sidelinestrangers, and it requires introduction and keen observation for oneto mingle with them freely.