Definition of Norm
Examples of Norm
- Not to stealing from others.
- Wearing clothes in public places.
Types of Norm
- American English – /nORm/
- British English – /nAWm/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /nɔ(ə)rm/
- British English – /nɔːm/
- Plural: norms
- The terms “norm” and “social norm” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
- Norms can be formal and informal, visible and invisible, or explicit and implicit.
- Norms are learned through socialization and enforced through negative or positive sanctions.
- “All groups have norms, values, beliefs, ways of life, and codes of conduct that identify the group and define its boundaries” (McNamee and Miller 2013:58).
- “If religion protects man against the desire to kill himself, it is not because it preaches respect for his person based on arguments sui generis, but because it is a society. What constitutes this society is the existence of a certain number of beliefs and practices common to all the faithful which are traditional and therefore obligatory. The more numerous and strong these collective states are, the more strongly integrated is the religious community, and the greater its preservative value” (Durkheim  2004:74).
- “No society lacks norms governing conduct. But societies do differ in the degree to which folkways, mores and institutional controls are effectively integrated with the goals which stand high in the hierarchy of cultural values. The culture may be such as to lead individuals to center their emotional convictions upon the complex of culturally acclaimed ends, with far less emotional support for prescribed methods of reaching out for these ends. With such differential emphases upon goals and institutional procedures, the latter may be so vitiated by the stress on goals as to have the behavior of many individuals limited only by considerations of technical expediency. In this context, the sole significant question becomes: Which of the available procedures is most efficient in netting the culturally approved value? The technically most effective procedure, whether culturally legitimate or not, becomes typically preferred to institutionally prescribed conduct. As this process of attenuation continues, the society becomes unstable and there develops what Durkheim called ‘anomie‘ (normlessness)” (Merton  1968:189).
- Role Theory Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “norm” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Bicchieri, Cristina. 2006. The Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Dahrendorf, Ralf. 1959. Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Dresser, Norine. 2005. Multicultural Manners: Essential Rules of Etiquette for the 21st Century. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Durkheim, Émile.  2006. Suicide. London: Penguin.
- Gibbs, Jack P. 1965. “Norms: The Problem of Definition and Classification.” American Journal of Sociology 70(5):586–94. doi:10.1086/223933.
- Hechter, Michael, and Karl-Dieter Opp. 2001. Social Norms. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- Lockwood, David. 1992. Solidarity and Schism: ‘The Problem of Disorder’ in Durkheimian and Marxist Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Lukes, Steven, and W. D. Mills, eds. 2013. Durkheim: The Rules of Sociological Method. New York: Free Press.
- Parsons, Talcott. 1951. The Social System. New York: The Free Press.
- Rex, John. 1961. Key Problems of Sociological Theory. London: Routledge & Kegan.
- Sumner, William Graham. 1906. Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals.
- Therborn, Göran. 2002. “Back to Norms! On the Scope and Dynamics of Norms and Normative Action.” Current Sociology 50(6):863–80. doi:10.1177/0011392102050006006.
Durkheim, Émile.  2004. “Suicide.” Pp. 65–83 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.
McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller, Jr. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Merton, Robert King.  1968. Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press.
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ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “norm.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 17, 2021 (https://sociologydictionary.org/norm/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
norm. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/norm/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “norm.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://sociologydictionary.org/norm/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“norm.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 17 May. 2021. <https://sociologydictionary.org/norm/>.