William Graham Sumner: Social Norms
The following is from Tom Cravens' web site. He is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Louis Community College at Meramec.
William Graham Sumner (1840-1910)
Sumner was one of the first Americans to teach sociology in a major university (Yale). He published "Folkways" in 1906 which sought to describe the origins of social norms."
Are standards or guides for behavior. Norm specify behavorial expectations by defining what are correct and incorrect ways of responding to situations.
William Graham Sumner Classified Norms into 3 Major Types:
a) Folkways - are relatively weak norms which are only mildly enforced in a society. (not against the law)
Example of Folkways
1. Correct manners.
2. Appropriate dress.
3. Proper eating behavior.
b) Mores - are the strong and important norms of a society. Violation of mores will evoke severe punishment. (against the law most of the time.)
Example of Mores
c) Laws - are norms which are designed, maintained and enforced by the political authority of a society.
Examples of Violations of Laws
2, Cheating on Income Tax
Reasons for Conformity to Norms:
a) Indoctrination - being told over and over to do something the "right" way.
b) Habituation - doing something the same way over and over again.
c) Practicality - other members of society know in advance what your behavior will be.
d) Desire for approval - other members of society will approve of your behavior because you are doing the "right thing".
Is the view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything and all others are viewed with reference to it. Each group looks upon its ways of doing things as being the best and natural and better than all others.