SYG 2000 FIU What Are the Norms Essay

Question Description

a norm is an expectation, belief, standard, or guideline shared by the members of a group, and even members of an entire society, that shape people’s behavior. Frequently, these norms are taken-for-granted, and sometimes members of the group are not even aware of them–until someone violates them. When that occurs, people then become aware of the norm and give positive or negative sanctions (rewards and punishments) in order to get the norm violator to conform to the norm.

There are four types of norms, first described by William Graham Sumner, an American sociologist, at the turn of the 20th century. Folkways, Mores, Taboos, and Laws have different characteristics and different sanctions that apply to them.

The function of norms or shared beliefs among members of a group or in a society is to ensure that the group coheres or stays together, and that the group is stable, changing slowly, if at all, over time. The main way to ensure this cohesion is for the members of a group to sanction, usually in the form of a punishment, any member who violates any of the norms of the group. These sanctions reinforce the members’ willingness to conform to the group norms.


  1. Read: Chapter 2

Sociology, second edition
This is a free online textbook for students to download and read on a computer or other
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Describe and give examples of each type of norm, and explain the differences between laws and the other three categories of norms. Give an example of how one of these norms impacts your daily life.

Expectations for Grading:

  • For all discussion questions, please provide:
    • One ORIGINAL Post of 250 words. Directly respond to the topic in your own words.

Prof. Angela


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