Friday, 15 April 2011

young people, space and conventions

Have a look at this little champion (iTr3vor) letting loose in an Apple store to a bit of Gaga.

Aside from his moves, what I find most interesting here is how the other people in the space pay very little attention to him. Does his youth allow him to transgress the conventions of a social space like this? (Or, would he be asked to leave if he was a bit older?) Or is the Apple store itself imbued with a different kind of social convention that allows for this kind of disturbance? (If this performance took place in another shop, would it have been allowed?) Or is it that this performance is directed at a screen and thus (presumably) intended for an audience other than those physically present that this kind of disturbance is permitted and, in some ways, ignored?

Interestingly, in some of his other videos he attracts a bit more attention with some people even joining in on the dance. At one point he even gets some of the Apple employees in on the act, where they not only consent to the performance taking place in the store but want to participate. There's a research paper in this somewhere for a YouTube scholar!


  1. Do you think this is because it is easier for people to ignore deviance than it is to police it, or even to watch it?

    If they police it, then they have to intervene, and perhaps suffer consequences themselves (to any degree--a waste of time, physical harm, etc.).

    If they watch it, they are implicated in the deviance--e.g. watching someone break into a house without doing something about it is, in a way, allowing the break in to occur.

    If this is the case, does that mean that anyone doing the same sort of thing might be able to get away with it because they are invisible?

  2. Yes that's true. I also think there is an expectation for young people to engage in deviant behaviour.

    However, in shops, this avoidance of deviance doesn't usually fly as easily because there are designated 'shop-attendants' responsible for policing the space. That's why I was wondering whether or not directing the performance at the screen played a role in the response (or lack thereof) it got from the people physically present.