Folkways vs Mores: Difference and Comparison

In sociology, social norms play a vital role. Norms can govern the lives and guide the thoughts and beliefs of an individual, group, or community.

Norms form the basis of the expectation of society from an individual. Models can be further divided into folkways and mores.

Key Takeaways

  1. Folkways are informal social norms governing everyday behavior and cultural customs.
  2. Mores are more significant societal norms, deeply ingrained and often linked to moral values.
  3. Violating mores leads to stronger societal disapproval than violating folkways.

Folkways vs Mores

Folkways are informal norms that govern everyday behaviour and are enforced through social pressure. Mores are formal norms enforced through legal sanctions and can lead to severe social consequences, such as ostracism or ex-communication. Examples include laws against theft, murder, and other criminal offences.

Folkways vs Mores

Folkways can represent usual, customary, and habitual behaviour. It creates a mark of expectation for how individuals should act and behave.

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It is not inherent in an individual and is learned from the surrounding. Folkways can even promote the welfare of society. They are also considered ethical principles.

While more can determine and evaluate between right and wrong. The conventions under mores can embody the fundamental values of a group. Personal values are the foundation for more.

Individuals who violate social mores are considered and termed social deviants. Mores are also considered moral principles.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFolkwaysMores were introduced in the year 1898
Year of origin Folkways was introduced in the year 1906 Appropriate dressing at specific places, covering the mouth while sneezing or coughing, raising the hand to speak, not keeping the elbows on the table, brushing teeth, wearing perfumes, saying thank you and please in speech, and others.
Moral significance No moral significance Morally significant
CoerciveLess coerciveMore coercive
Result of infringement Mild disapprovalSevere disapproval or even can lead to punishment
ExamplesIt is not acceptable for drug abuse, high-speed driving near the residential area or school area. Cheating, deception, and fraud, bribery, cyberbullying, plagiarism, extortion, trespassing is not accepted It is not acceptable for drug abuse, or high-speed driving near the residential area or school areas. Cheating, deception, and fraud, bribery, cyberbullying, plagiarism, extortion, trespassing is not accepted.

What is Folkways?

The various customs and conventions that are followed in daily life are referred to as folkways. Folkways are also considered a type of social norm.

It creates a mark of expectation for how individuals should act and behave. It is a learned behaviour that can be a part of a group or a community.

Folkways have variations depending on the culture and region. For example, the Bartering system can be a common culture for many but a new thing for the American people.

Folkways can also show variation depending on the context or situation.

Talking loudly on the phone might not be unusual in a public place like a park or road,, but in a church or a hospital, it can be rude behaviour.

The term folkways was coined by William Graham Sumner,, an American sociologist. He referred to folkways as normal behaviour.

The sociologist believed that folkways from various areas of life could become consistent and create a definite pattern. They can even promote the welfare of society.

Folkways are widely accepted and become a uniform and satisfying human need. The group or individuals who follow folkways frequently repeat the set of acts.

Habits, traditions, and sanctions strengthen folkways. These factors make folkways compelling, arbitrary, and positive. Some even consider folkways as ethical principles.

What is Mores?

The social norms observed within a specific culture or society include manners, habits, or customs are referred to as mores.

Mores of various nations can form the root of ethnic stereotypes. Mores are referred to as moral attitudes. The conventions under mores can embody the fundamental values of a group.

The term Mores was coined by William Graham Sumner,, an American sociologist. More can be considered as a strict version of folkways.

They can determine and evaluate right and wrong. Violation of mores can lead to disapproval or ostracizing.

More play a pivotal role in shaping the beliefs, values, behaviour, and interactions of an individual, a group, or community.

Mores are considered acceptable norms within a culture or society. It features the moral standpoint. It can even form the basis of various cultures.

Mores can overlap with laws but not form the rules because they are predominantly illegal. Personal values are the foundation for more.

Mores are established from the practices of people or groups or a community. Not all mores need to be approved by every type of society or by all members of a group.

Examples of mores are stealing, lying, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, gossiping, jealousy, disrespect towards elders, various beliefs about marriage, breaking a promise, bullying, laughing at someone else’s misfortune, skipping a funeral, vandalism, cheating, deception, and fraud, bribery, cyberbullying, plagiarism, extortion, trespassing, and various such related norms.

Main Differences Between Folkways and Mores

  1. Folkways are considered as habits of individuals or a group, while mores are considered as moral traditions or customs that a group shares.
  2. Folkways are social expectations that are mildly forced, while mores are social expectations that are strictly held as beliefs.
  3. Folkways help in distinguishing between rude and proper behaviour, while Mores help in dictating between right and wrong.
  4. Folkways have no moral significance, while mores are morally significant.
  5. Folkways are called informal social conventions, while mores are called formal ones.
References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=ljwrDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=folkways+and+mores&ots=FR2BrRyzKV&sig=o_vxYvKU9SN98kw5Dt9RrlbLAGs
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315135069-5/folkways-mores-william-graham-sumner
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