How does sociology affect the nontraditional student in a college environment?

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Sociology refers to society's structural functioning, cultural norms, and expectations. The way one group defines itself consists of different traditions and standards. Societal norms regulate the culture within a college environment. A non-traditional student in a college environment may not feel the need to conform to such norms or societal...

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Sociology refers to society's structural functioning, cultural norms, and expectations. The way one group defines itself consists of different traditions and standards. Societal norms regulate the culture within a college environment. A non-traditional student in a college environment may not feel the need to conform to such norms or societal structures. This may be based off of personal history, cultural background, and prior experiences.

For example, a cultural norm in a college environment may be the concept of binge drinking or partying. It may be a social expectation to conform to other students' recreational drinking habits; however, if a student makes the personal choice to stray away from the "norm of partying," then the consequences of going against the norm may result in fewer social interactions and possible isolation. Also, the pressure to fall into societal and environmental norms may lead to the student acting against their own will in order to receive the social benefits of conforming.

Another example of the effects of sociology on the nontraditional student in the college environment may be the cultural and socio-economical differences in the student population. In the example above, there are societal norms that may bear negative consequences for nontraditional students. Nonetheless, nonconforming behaviors may also bear results that allow individual growth.

In a college environment, students are expected to be surrounded by a diverse study body in which backgrounds and cultures differ. It is possible for students to feel as though they are deviating from their traditional morals, values, and traits. However, a nontraditional student may be able to adjust and conform to the environment's culture. They may do so by surrounding themselves and interacting with students from various cultural and socio-economic statuses. For instance, they may be more open to learning about different cultural traditions and experiences. Being able to create their own idea of culture builds a stronger sense of self.

In all, sociology has an impact on the nontraditional student's experience in a college environment. A nontraditional student may be an individual who strays away from societal norms and expectations. When a student chooses not to conform, the consequences may include negative (fewer social rewards) or positive (individual growth) outcomes.

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