Society Norms

The study of social norms is broad. And is now taught in a systematic way through academia. This article doesn’t intend on teaching you what a social norm is, rather is intended to give insights to a different thought of customs, the adoption of these customs, the importance of education about the adoption over time of these customs, how gaps in the education can affect communication and inequalities, and how evolving and understanding social norms can improve cultural divisions. It is not meant to persuade, or educate beyond bringing light to a problem that isn’t being addressed in our educational systems adequately or properly.

As we all grow up and tend to learn things not just from our parents, but from our peers and experiences with society as well. Both parents have been brought up with certain societal norms and together raised their children with their own formulated concepts of these norms. Society has adopted social norms, and individual parts of society or states, cities, and communities may develop their own systems and behaviors as well. There are all types of traditional norms, norms from groups, organized groups, and exclusive and inclusive norms from groups. And in conforming to any of these brings social incentives in one way or another, and a rational behavior to people in society.

To recognize the features of social norms could be transformative and bring out a dialogue about attributes both good and bad that people inherit. As society grows we become more rational and yearn for the best behavior and acceptance from our surroundings as possible. Our acceptance from our surroundings is a driving force behind much of what rational behavior stems from. Each person and culture has inherited unique customs in which represent who they are and where they came from.

Unique Customs

Every country, state, city, and community around the globe develop their own social norms. Indeed, there are universal social norms that have been engrained into our subconscious for decades, centuries, and since the beginning of the evolution of human beings. These have become cultural customs or things we get accustomed to growing up. Individually, we all create our own subjective or unique norms formulated by our experiences with groups, where we grew up, our parent’s influences, and possibilities of moving from one geographic location to another and adopting their norms. Customs take a long time to set in. So long we forget where these customs might come from.

Time Adaption

We take for granted that social norms or customs have been developed by many cultures over thousands of years. For traits to become social norms or cultural customs takes a person to adapt to the norm and accept it. It takes many people to accept it and adequately utilize this behavior on a normal basis. After many people adopt whatever trait it is, it becomes a social norm. These things can take hundreds, and even thousands of years for cultures to adopt and adapt to shifts in cultural norms. Understanding what these norms are and where they came from can do a lot for people, and the communities that are evolving new norms.

Education & Recognition of Norms

Society is a very complex place. Many people take for granted where tradition, custom, and where these social contracts, moral implications, or common traits came from. Our parents may teach us about their past and we might learn from school some history and sociology, but,  slowly there becomes a disposition in the systemic roots to our human ancestry. It is important for every culture to remember things as they evolve. The education behind these stories is imperative to the growth of nations and communities around the world. They once were taught through stories that are now known as myths. Through education, people will recognize where these shifts happened, how they evolved, and why certain problems may or may not be happening. This is extremely vital to balance the integrations of cultural differences. It is not only important to know your family’s history or the world’s history, but the shifts in local communities that you may be moving to. To recognize cultural ties and differences leads to objective dialogues to what sometimes could be subjective opinions. Opinions are good, and individual behavior is good. But, only with an objective intention, however, will it be a good subjective claim when it comes to cultural or social norms. Without recognition of what norms are and where they come from, these subjective behaviors become dominate, and there are gaps in communication which leads to inequalities.

Gaps and Inequalities

Over time things become normal and communities work together keeping things as intact as possible. Over time, however, people move away and people move in town. When this happens it soon brings gaps in the social norm. As gaps happen, people may do better or worse and during this imbalance, people grow by working harder and others slack off. This creates a sense of inequality. When inequality takes effect, social norms get displaced and this above anything else takes a toll on the economy and the health of the community. There are all kinds of social gaps and inequalities from the race, religion, monetary issues, education, cultural upbringings, and the integration of all the above. Every so often in history, humans have an exodus bringing different cultures and ways of life into other perspectives. These new perspectives take the time to adapt and reflect upon setting new standards of social behavior. It spawns new thinking and a new understanding of social norms. This is the evolution of societal growth.

Evolving the Norm

Society grows when transformation happens. Growth is dependent on transformation to strengthen communities. The strength of communities comes from the balance of social behavior. The transformation happens due to social behavior changing. The variables discussed earlier for cultural adjustments is people moving out of town, new people moving in, races, different religions, technology, and the inherited political spectrum all play a role in the balance of social behavior. As transformative elements of culture happen, the balance of the social behavior sets in a new social norm.

The new social norm is an ever-evolving idea of what a good society is. This idea has and will go through many ideas in order to find societal virtue. Is this possible? Of course, it is, however, it takes human compassion, empathy, reciprocity, and individuals to play their part or role in society. As social norms evolve many times people struggle to find their role, or are doing many things to participate. It is not always easy and much more stressful for everyone within a community.  The stress is a part of the core that strengthens the transformation. We have all heard the term “what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger” and this holds true with nature, and for society as well. You can see when a branch on a tree cracks, that stress strengthens the tree and makes is grow. Same is true with our human cartilage and bones as it fractures it strengthens and grows stronger than before. As a cultural unity, the stress breaks our emotions down allowing us to see gaps in our behavior, norms, and opens our eyes to new possibilities of advancement in the evolution of social norms. We are at a stage not just with one country, but the whole world is stressed and sees gaps in societies cultural balance and behavior. We know things could be better and there are better ways. Where is this evolution of social norms going to take us?  It is up to you to learn, educate, and be a part of the balance in the evolution of the new social norm happening everywhere across our globe.