Mores and Folkways and Norms, Oh My
Get ready boys and girls. I’m going to take you on a brief tour inside the unspoken, accepted rules of your own world. Before I do, let’s review a few of the terms you may need for the trip.
Folkways are defined as a way of living, thinking and acting in a human group.
Norms are defined as a standard or pattern of behavior that is considered normal in a society. While mores are the central accepted customs and folkways of a society.
Mores then, are the strongly held norms.
Every society, group, family and even church has its own folkways, mores and norms.
Sociologists, William Graham Summer pointed out that, “Mores can make anything right and can prevent the condemnation of anything wrong.
Our mores tell us how to dress, act and behave.
In his treaties Children of Light, Children of Darkness, theologian and ethicist, Karl Niebuhr wrote, “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
If all of this sounds like a lot of intellectual mumbo-jumbo, stay with me.
We, all of us, are sliding away from our own folkways, mores and norms.
Our self-righteousness and lack of inclusion has led to hatred and in-groupness.
Our wink and nod towards prosperity teaching has caused us to see the poor as sinful.
And in our desire to see our own self as beautiful, we have come to think of anyone outside of our group as hideously ugly.
Let’s rethink our norms, our in-groupness and even our ethics.
Who is defining your right and wrong?
Should we revisit the norms, or do we need to establish new ones?
Do the norms and mores of your facebook group clash with the norms and mores of your job?
Don’t look to me; I’m just asking the questions.
Be you, be well, be beautiful.
Bertice Berry, PhD.