Social Norms and Deviance

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Social Norms and Deviance

Many people will go through their daily routine, and not think much of it. Being integrated in the society that one is accustomed to, a person may overlook the very fundamentals of what that society stands on. Since childhood, beginning at the moment of birth, a person is taught what is “wrong” and what is “right.” These very values that we are taught to adopt since a young age are known as Social Norms.

A social norm is a rule of society that governs behavior in all our social situations and interactions. These social norms are influenced through the culture of the given society. The culture of the given society can be determined in one of two ways: material culture and non-material culture. Material culture is defined by things that people make and use, whereas non-material culture is defined by symbols, language, and values. These two types of culture are what determine our social norms due to the fact that each society varies and is unique to the way that their culture shapes what is “normal” amongst themselves. Social norms never test or defy the status quo of a society.

Folkways and Mores are just two examples of how a social norm works. A folkway is a customary pattern that affects a person’s daily life. A folkway does not require much thought as to why it is done, but is more of a habitual exercise that is reinforced through repetitive action. For example, saying “bless you” to someone after they sneeze would be what is considered a folkway. A more, on the other hand, is a strongly held belief in which any violations toward that belief are not tolerated. Running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign would be an example of a more. It is strongly held of a belief that when operating a vehicle, the driver should adhere to the laws of traffic, and if not, strict punishment would then take place, such as a traffic ticket. When these values are tested, the person not following the social norm of the...
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