In sociology, norms are situation-related rules of behavior. These are often based on the values that apply in a society. The values of a Christian society include the Ten Commandments. They serve as a guideline for most members of this society, which thus also forms the basis for the development of specific norms.
Why do you need norms and values?
Society functions to a large extent according to specific values and norms. People or their actions experience a certain regularity through them so that they can be calculated for others. An individual who does not accept the norms applicable in a group becomes an outsider, whose behavior usually results in sanctions from the other group members.
Do standards always have to be followed?
There are norms that must be obeyed, others that should be obeyed, for example, not doing private things during work hours, and others that can be obeyed, for example, not speaking out loud in church.
Norms are conveyed by groups or institutions. Important features are that they apply to all group members and there must be an opportunity to violate them. In certain situations, norms can sometimes not be adhered to - a person who defends himself can unintentionally violate the norm of not hurting anyone.
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What are sanctions for?
The task of sanctions is to get others to orientate themselves towards applicable norms. In the event of violations, they are aimed at those who violate the norm and have a negative character for them - that of punishment. For example, if someone in traffic violates an applicable speed limit, and the police stops him, he has to pay a fine.
Actions are also permitted as sanctions that would result in sanctions under other circumstances. Deprivation of liberty is accepted as a sanction if someone has committed a serious crime and the sanction is intended to induce them to comply with the applicable standards.
When do norms and values change?
Changes in society are a major reason for a change in norms or values. If, for example, a social group gains greater influence, many applicable norms will gradually adapt to the norms of this group. If a group loses influence in society, some of its norms are also abandoned.