Social norms


When referring to social norms we speak of everything that is adequate in the eyes of society, what is within its parameters and what is allowed in a society, culture or region ; generally, the inhabitants of these regions must comply with certain patterns of behavior and thought, not only to be accepted, but also to be included in a group that is part of society . People reluctant to follow these parameters are commonly called asocial.

What are the social norms?

They are a set of rules and guidelines by which a certain population must be governed , they were created so that by following them a better coexistence among peers would develop; If these rules and guidelines are complied with, what is expected would be to facilitate relationships both with the people in the environment and with the environment itself, making the individual who does not escape these limitations have a better quality of life. It is important to emphasize that not in all nations and regions the social norms are the same , if there are some that may become similar, however, these rules when imposed are determined to cover the needs of the locality in which they will be applied, therefore, these guidelinesthey mutate according to the traditions and culture of the specific region in which it will be implemented.

  • Definition of social norms
  • Story
  • Characteristics
  • Origin of social norms
  • What are they for
  • Types of standards
  • Sanctions
  • How they differ from moral standards
  • Importance of social norms

Definition of social norms

Social norms are lines of conduct that regulate the behavior of the members of a group, facilitating relationships and coexistence within it, because only behaviors that maintain some regularity can be coordinated with the behaviors of others .


Within each society there are rules of coexistence that are born from a generalized desire in order to achieve order and social stability. When social norms cease to be useful for coexistence within a given society, they are generally replaced by new ones that better adapt to social changes, however, some of these norms remain a fundamental part of the culture of society. a social group.


The first indication of norms in history dates from the Paleolithic , where individuals had to come together to overcome the great resistance that nature put up, for which they were grouped to satisfy their needs ; In ancient times and because this group of people was primitive, it was called horde , after this concept terms such as family and social unit appeared that referred to the same thing, a group of people who came together for the same purpose.

Since that time, in order to become civilized and live in healthy peace , a certain number of norms had to be implemented, since they manifested themselves against each other and did not respect each other .


  • Cultural emphasis.
  • Identity development.
  • Harmony with the environment.
  • Quality of life.
  • Cohesion between all the participants of a society.

Origin of social norms

These norms originated on the basis of the needs that each society presented, and are elaborated from that; Humans needed to have certain limitations to be able to coexist in healthy peace with each other, which is why social norms began to be implemented.

What are they for

Social norms have only one specific objective, which is to integrate the population as a unit, however, for this it was necessary that they be similar even in something, so these guidelines emerged that although they did not make them think of in the same way, he made them behave according to the norm; This also prevents attacks and other rebellions that could manifest in the future. In other words, the function of social norms is to maintain control over a particular ethnic group, while meeting the needs of the same.

Types of standards

Legal norms

These norms or laws are those determined by the authorities of a specific state or region; the individual who violates this norm or law, loses a great amount of rights and is punished for it.

Moral standards

As its name indicates, this standard is more focused on the judgment and conscience of each inhabitant of a certain region, they are inculcated from the upbringing starting from moral values that over time develop from the experience and the influence that they manage to have. the environment in that person; Although its non-compliance does not have any sanction, however, it can cause social rejection and unpleasant moral judgments.

Religious norms

These are based on the interpretation of the sacred scriptures of a certain religion , for which, purely religious people abide by these norms by faith, with the belief that they will be saved in the final judgment.

Social norms

These norms are closely linked to moral norms, however, these norms can contradict the morality and judgment of an individual, since they displace all ideal of the population, detaching themselves from respect for said thought and are only responsible for maintaining harmony. and coexistence above all things.


As each culture has specific sanctions for non-compliance with a norm, the sanctions cannot be specified , however, the penalties for the violation of a legal norm are captivity or, in other words, jail, although in some cultures it is still practiced. the death penalty when the violation of said norm is critical ; When we talk about social and moral norms there is a great difference, for breaching these norms there is no specific sanction, however, by not abiding by them the person can become exiled from their own social family , being rejected for an indeterminate time.

How they differ from moral standards

Social and moral norms are commonly confused, however, there is a slight difference that makes them separate, moral norms are instilled from the foundations of character and personality in an individual, they are all ideals and goals , including the judgment of good and evil; social norms, on the contrary, are all those parameters whose main objective is that optimal coexistence persists in a certain group, if these norms violate some ideal or type of moral thought, it does not have the slightest importance as long as local harmony continues to be defended .

Due to social norms today, many social phenomena have been triggered , in favor of achieving a broader thought regarding various topics that have become taboo or fashionable.

Importance of social norms

Social norms are important since thanks to these an order is maintained in a certain locality, they are essential for healthy coexistence between people, since sometimes human beings are impulsive and cannot control what they do or what they think ; These rules are a way to prevent this, the quality of life of people who are guided by these rules is more optimal.

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