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folkways,term coined by William Graham SumnerSumner, William Graham,
1840–1910, American sociologist and political economist, b. Paterson, N.J., grad. Yale, 1863, and studied in Germany, in Switzerland, and at Oxford.
..... Click the link for more information. in his treatise Folkways (1906) to denote those group habits that are common to a society or culture and are usually called customscustom,
habitual group pattern of behavior that is transmitted from one generation to another and is not biologically determined. Since societies are perpetually changing, no matter how slowly, all customs are basically impermanent.
..... Click the link for more information. . The word provided a useful contribution to the development of the concept of cultureculture,
in anthropology, the integrated system of socially acquired values, beliefs, and rules of conduct which delimit the range of accepted behaviors in any given society. Cultural differences distinguish societies from one another.
..... Click the link for more information. and is still used in its technical sense in sociological literature. Fashions in clothing or modes of recreation exemplify folkways. The term has failed to maintain the currency it once enjoyed among the other social sciences but has gained acceptance as a colloquial term. See moresmores
, concept developed by William Graham Sumner to designate those folkways that if violated, result in extreme punishment. The term comes from the Latin mos (customs), and although mores are fewer in number than folkways, they are more coercive.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
folkwaysthe everyday customs of a social group or community (W. SUMNER, 1906). Folkways are contrasted with MORES, being less strongly sanctioned and less abstractly organized.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000