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Chewing Tsang

on 10 April 2015

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Transcript of Airport

design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi

Transportation plays a role in our everyday life to get us from one point to the next. As international students, the usage of planes to travel home and to other countries has become a vital element in our live’s. Airports are a social setting where unspoken rules are implemented just like in our everyday life, however, we fail to recognize them until they have been broken. At the airport, there are a variety of people expressing various emotions and have different experiences whilst being there. As a society, we have created social norms, and we expect the unwritten rules to be followed.

“Meals themselves vary, with a differentiation between weekday and weekend meals, for instance, or every day and special holiday meals,” the variation sets the tempo for everyday life (De Vault, 1991). There are codes in meals that have a basic structure “much of it is ethnically based, learned from shared cultural experience, and signaling membership in a cultural group beyond the household” (De Vault, 1991).

Through my traveling experience, I have noticed some social norms at the airport:
The appropriate time and place to eat food and drink alcohol
Rules about status and distinction

Queues in the airport
Drinking & Food Consumption
What is Embarrassment?
Airport Embarrassment
Sociology of Everyday life (L4040B) Poster Presentation
Mandy Choy
Chiu Wing Tsang
Elsalee Rocha
The observers will exaggerate every actions of people who feel embarrassed and make them standing in an naked state.
Embarrassment is particularly noticeable because it is so devastating.
Embarrassment need for immediate repair.
Body Reaction:
1. Blushing 2. Fumbling 3. Stuttering 4. Sweating
Airport Embarrassment
2. Social Transaction and Equipment:
Social transaction means the exchanges take the form of conversations, passing looks, emails, letters, commands, questions, handshakes, body language, smiles, smirks, and sneers.
Equipment is a term that describes the lack of control within ourselves and in a social situation.
“Equipment sometimes extends beyond what is actually handled in the transaction to include the stage props.” (Stone and Gross, 1973;112)
Example: A man is found a sex toy in his bag as he passes through airport security. (Mirror, 2015)
His bright red complexion gives away his obvious embarrassment. (see picture)

Motivates audiences to 'repair' the situation
Protective Facework (Goffman, 1967): Facework discusses the concept of face, which is the positive self-image that an individual holds when interacting with others.
To restore normal appearances
looking for audience help: pretend they did not see anything/ get help
There are some elements of self and situation, which raised by Stone and Gross (1973), with reference to which loss of control gave rise to considerable embarrassment. (2 elements can apply in this social setting - Airport.)
1. Space:

‘Repair Space’ separate self from social activity to have moment to reflect on how to resolve issue at hand
“To avoid embarrassment, people will go to great lengths to insure their appearance in appropriate places, and to some to be deprived of access to a particular setting is to limit performance drastically.” (Stone and Gross, 1973;108)
People cannot find their own territories or domains easily at airport. Some embarrassing situations --> loss of poise.
Example: Opening suitcase when it is overweight

Social norms in queues
First-come, First served priority:

Legitimate reason for queue jumping
Breaking norm in Queue

A fundamental concept of queuing and a basic principle of behavior referred to as distributing justice, because it gives preferential service to those waiting longer(Mann,1969).
-> urgent/ special situation

e.g people may ask to cut the line to avoid missing their flight in airport security queues

Class fare difference
Economic and operational
rationale as a social norms produces business opportunity
Compare with economic class,business class have lots of privileges:

*Special desk to check-in,
*Boarding/landing first ,
*Comfortable seat,
*More baggage allowances
*Better food

Hofstede’s (1983)Power Distance Index (HPDI)
A common measure
of the extent to which less powerful members accept
and expect an unequal power distribution, that creates hierarchy in the queue.

Applying technology in check-in queue

Reduce the amount of time they spend waiting in queues at the check-in desk -> Time saving
Cutting down the number of check-in desks and personnel ->Reduction in costs for airlines

Self check-in system, likes Kiosks online check-in

A research on passenger’s choice of check-in options found out that self check-in system might replace transnational check-in, frequent passengers (over 12 flights per year) nearly 20% less likely to use the desk.

young people, female and high education passengers more likely to use self-check-in system. Older people and business class passengers prefer the human touch when it comes to air ticket purchase
Airline service upgrade passenger for free due to some situations, such as seat overbooking and royal passengers or bagging*. This breaks the norm because they did not pay extra to receive special service, instead they were given it freely.

self check-in systems does not eliminate queuing, however it reduces the wait time. It breaks the concept of queuing and “first come, first serve” because those using the machines have the ability to skip the step of queuing for the attendant
Free upgrade on flight
Self check-in system
Allon, G., & Hanany, E. (2012). Cutting in Line: Social Norms in Queues.Management Science, 58(3), 493-506. [Online] Available at: http:// dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1110.1438 (Accessed:27 Mar, 2015)

Air France (2015),Checked baggage, available at:https://www.airfrance.com.hk/HK/en//guidevoyageur/pratique/bagage-soute-airfrance.htm (Accessed: 27Mar,2015)

Castillo-Manzano, J, & López-Valpuesta, L. (2013). Check-in services and passenger behaviour: Self service technologies in airport systems. Computers in Human Behavior, Sciencedirect, 29(6), 2431-2437. [Online] DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2013.05.030 (Accessed: 27 Mar, 2015)

De Vault, M. (1991) Feeding the Family: The Social Construction of Caring as Gendered Work. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 1: “Doing family meals.”
Gross, E. and Stone, G (1973) “Embarrassment and the analysis of role requirements,” In A. Birenbaum and E. Sagarin (eds) (1973) People in Places: The Sociology of the Familiar. London: Nelson

Gusfield, J. (1987) “Passage to play: rituals of drinking time in American society.” In M. Douglas (Ed.) (1987) Constructive Drinking: Perspectives On Drink From Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Heathrowairport.com,. 'Heathrow: Facts And Figures'. N.p., 2015. [Available at http://www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/company-news-and-information/company-information/facts-and-figures] (Accessed on 30 Mar. 2015.)

Leadbeater, C (2014)Fictional pregnancies, sham honeymoons and fake CANCER: The lies passengers tell to get free upgrades on flights revealed, Daily Mail, 1 October, [Online] . Available at:: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2776155/Top-lies-used-free-upgrades-flights-Fake-pregnancies-honeymoons-cancer-treatments-fibs-tell-bag-upgrade.html (Accessed: 28 Mar,2015

O'Neill, Kara. 'Hilarious Stag Do Prank: Pals Plant Sex Toy As Groom Passes Airport Security'. mirror. N.p., 2015. [Available at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/embarrassing-stag-pals-plant-sex-5109989] (Accessed on 30 Mar. 2015.)

Why we chose airport to be our social setting?
In today’s culture we have developed many social norms, which can be divided into three aspects:
Food consumption

When & Where to Eat and Drink
Status & Distinction
Restaurant VS. Terminal
Eat proper meals at restaurants and eat snacks at the terminal
Having a full meal at the terminal
Alcohol consumption
Social setting
Drinking at the terminal
In the evening
Drink in the morning

Professional Image of Airline Employees

Pilots and flight attendants do not eat at airports
Flight crew eating around passengers

(Castillo-Manzano & López-Valpuesta, 2013)
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