Relationship between norms and laws

Primary and Secondary Norms—The Difference between Law and Morality - Oxford Scholarship

relationship between norms and laws

This issue of Erasmus Law Review explores the relation between law and society by investigating different conceptions of social norms. The idea of this special. Laws is regulated by specific laws or codification through Parliament or State Assembly assent. Norms in the other hand, are the practised and conduct agreed . institutions I mean the informal rules, the social norms and conventions, that .. But the relationship between laws and social norms appears to be much more.

In this way, ego can count on those actions as if they would already have been performed and does not have to wait for their actual execution; social interaction is thus accelerated. Important factors in the standardization of behavior are sanctions [16] and social roles.

Emergence and transmission[ edit ] Rulemaking is one of the basic impulses humans have for organizing and simplifying actions. Everyday there are new rules put into place, as well as old rules that are more structured whether it be for a group or an individual. Yet, not only do humans make rules, they strive on finding the rules that come eye to eye about how the world works. Groups may adopt norms through a variety of ways.

Norms can arise formally, where groups explicitly outline and implement behavioral expectations. Laws or club rules serve as an example of this.

Many formal norms serve to provide safety to the general public. However, social norms are much more likely to develop informally, emerging gradually as a result of repeated use of discretionary stimuli to control behavior.

relationship between norms and laws

Transfer of norms between groups[ edit ] Individuals may also import norms from a previous organization to their new group, which can get adopted over time. In a group, individuals may all import different histories or scripts about appropriate behaviors; common experience over time will lead the group to define as a whole its take on the right action, usually with the integration of several members' schemas.

Groups internalize norms by accepting them as reasonable and proper standards for behaviour within the group. Once firmly established, a norm becomes a part of the group's operational structure and hence more difficult to change.

While possible for newcomers to a group to change its norms, it is much more likely that the new individual will adopt the group's norms, values, and perspectives, rather than the other way around. In the sociological literature, this can often lead to them being considered outcasts of society. Yet, deviant behavior amongst children is somewhat expected. Except the idea of this deviance manifesting as a criminal action, the social tolerance given in the example of the child is quickly withdrawn against the criminal.

Crime is considered one of the most extreme forms of deviancy according to scholar Clifford R. In psychology, an individual who routinely disobeys group norms runs the risk of turning into the "institutionalized deviant.

At first, group members may increase pressure on a non-conformist, attempting to engage the individual in conversation or explicate why he or she should follow their behavioral expectations.

The role in which one decides on whether or not to behave is largely determined on how their actions will affect others. Over time, however, if a member continues to disobey, the group will give up on him as a lost cause; while the group may not necessarily revoke his membership, they may give him only superficial consideration.

If the behavior continues, eventually the group may begin meetings without him since the individual "is always late. Group tolerance for deviation varies across membership; not all group members receive the same treatment for norm violations. Individuals may build up a "reserve" of good behavior through conformitywhich they can borrow against later. These idiosyncrasy credits provide a theoretical currency for understanding variations in group behavioral expectations.

While past performance can help build idiosyncrasy credits, some group members have a higher balance to start with. Finally, leaders or individuals in other high-status positions may begin with more credits and be appear to be "above the rules" at times. Deviance also causes multiple emotions one experiences when going against a norm. One of those emotions can be widely attributed to guilt. This emotion is connected to the ethics of duty which in turn becomes a primary object of moral obligation.

Guilt is followed by an action that is questioned after its doing. Used in both instances, it is both an unpleasant feeling as well as a form of self-punishment.

Social norm - Wikipedia

Using the metaphor of "dirty hands", [27] it is the staining or tainting of oneself and therefore having to self cleanse away the filth. It is a form of reparation that confronts oneself as well as submitting to the possibility of anger and punishment from others. Guilt is a point in both action and feeling that acts as a stimulus for further "honorable" actions.

These norms aim to regulate the behaviour of parties in conducting their business. In this contribution, rational choice theories are used to explain the development of these norms in the field of transnational business law. Generally, rational choice theories explain how the behaviour of individuals is informed by a cost and benefit analysis. These theories approach society from an economic perspective in which individuals are deemed to behave rationally, meaning that individuals aim to further their preferences.

relationship between norms and laws

Mellor, The Sociological Ambition: Burke, An Introduction to Criminological Theoryat Theories that analyse how individuals determine what behaviour would benefit their preferences explain social norms in terms of costs and benefits. From the perspective of rational choice theories, certain patterns of behaviour would be rational given particular circumstances and thus improve overall utility. Social norms can therefore be explained in terms of a consensus between rational individuals.

As rational choice theories emphasise that social norms exist because they provide overall benefits to individuals,16x Voss, above n. A number of characteristics follow from a rational choice perspective on law and society.

First, by approaching social norms from a rational choice perspective, enforcement becomes an important issue of concern. Social norms need to be enforced as free riders may try to gain benefits without incurring costs when following a social norm.

Enforcement therefore ensures that social norms are followed by individuals. Second, rational choice theories explain social norms, first and foremost, at the level of individual behaviour. A different static conception of social norms may be more fruitful if one wishes to approach the relation between law and society from a macro perspective. A macro perspective on the relation between law and society that relies on a static conception of social norms is possible if one approaches social norms in terms of generally shared beliefs or values.

She describes, from a historical perspective, how this generally shared value has been reflected in the Chinese criminal justice system. In his The Division of Labor in Society, Durkheim makes a distinction between mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity.

Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society Mechanical solidarity exists in societies where individuals share the same values. Organic solidarity, on the other hand, exists in societies where individuals, in light of the division of labor, may pursue different values.

Law in a Moral Domainat Static conceptions of social norms that focus on shared beliefs or values are able to explore how values in a society are reflected in a legal system. Durkheim, for example, claimed that mechanical solidarity corresponds to a particular form of law, which he called repressive law. Organic solidarity, on the other hand, is reflected in what Durkheim called restitutive law. Although Cotterrell has argued that Durkheim did not subscribe to this view in his later work,20x Id.

More generally, the view that social values should be reflected in a legal system has been called by Tamanaha the mirror thesis. By conceptualising the relation between law and society in this way, one can investigate whether generally shared values in a society are adequately reflected in the law. However, Tamanaha is also critical of the mirror thesis. One of his critiques is that society is actually not reflected in the law, as the mirror thesis would suggest.

Western legal systems, in his view, do not actually reflect any substantive values held in society. This in turn brings to the fore the importance of procedures that ensure that law is generally recognised as valid. Complexity and Conflict Dynamic conceptions of social norms see not consensus, but diversity as the central determinant of social life. This can be seen by the study of crime and corruption: An influential view of norms considers them as clusters of self-fulfilling expectations Schellingin that some expectations often result in behavior that reinforces them.

A related view emphasizes the importance of conditional preferences in supporting social norms Sugden Thus, norm compliance results from the joint presence of a conditional preference for conformity and the belief that other people will conform as well as approve of conformity. Note that characterizing norms simply as clusters of expectations might be misleading; similarly, a norm cannot simply be identified with a recurrent behavioral pattern either.

If we were to adopt a purely behavioral account of norms there would be no way to distinguish shared rules of fairness from, say, the collective morning habit of tooth brushing. In fact, there are behavioral patterns that can only be explained by the existence of norms, even if the behavior prescribed by the norm in question is currently unobserved.

For example, in a study of the Ik people, Turnbull reported that starved hunters-gatherers tried hard to avoid situations where their compliance with norms of reciprocity was expected. Thus they would go out of their way not to be in the position of gift-taker, and hunted alone so that they would not be forced to share their prey with anyone else. There are many other instances of discrepancies between expectations and behavior.

Furthermore, there is evidence suggesting that people who donate blood, tip on a foreign trip, give money to beggars or return a lost wallet often attempt to underplay their altruistic behavior by supplying selfish motives that seemingly align their actions with a norm of self-interest; Wuthnow In a nutshell, norms refer to actions over which people have control, and are supported by shared expectations about what should or should not be done in different types of social situations.

However, norms cannot be identified just with observable behavior, nor can they merely be equated with normative beliefs. The varying degrees of correlation between normative beliefs and actions are an important factor researchers can use to differentiate among various types of norms.

Social Norms (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Such a correlation is also a key element to consider when critically assessing competing theories of norms: Socialization In the theory of the socialized actor Parsonsindividual action is intended as a choice among alternatives. Human action is understood within a utilitarian framework as instrumentally oriented and utility maximizing. Although a utilitarian setting does not necessarily imply a view of human motives as essentially egoistic, this is the preferred interpretation of utilitarianism adopted by Talcott Parsons and much contemporary sociology.

In this context, it becomes crucial to explain through which mechanisms social order and stability are attained in a society that would otherwise be in a permanent Hobbesian state of nature. The common values of a society are embodied in norms that, when conformed to, guarantee the orderly functioning and reproduction of the social system.

In the Parsonian framework norms are exogenous: The most important question is rather how norms get to be followed, and what prompts rational egoists to abide by them. The answer given by the theory of the socialized actor is that people voluntarily adhere to the shared value system, because it is introjected to form a constitutive element of the personality itself Parsons Such criteria are shared by a given community and embody a common value system.

People may choose what they prefer, but what they prefer in turn conforms to social expectations: Conformity to standing norms is a stable, acquired disposition that is independent of the consequences of conforming.

Social norm

Such lasting dispositions are formed by long-term interactions with significant others e. Internalization is conceived as the process by which people develop a psychological need or motive to conform to a set of shared norms. When norms are internalized norm-abiding behavior will be perceived as good or appropriate, and people will typically feel guilt or shame at the prospect of behaving in a deviant way.

If internalization is successful external sanctions will play no role in eliciting conformity and, since individuals are motivated to conform, it follows that normative beliefs and actions will be consistent. The goal of individual action is to maximize satisfaction. The potential conflict between individual desires and collective goals is resolved by characterizing the common value system as one that precedes and constrains the social actor.

The price of this solution is the disappearance of the individual actor as the basic unit of analysis. On the other hand, one may easily verify whether empirical predictions drawn from the socialized actor theory are supported by experimental evidence. For instance, the following predictions can be derived from the theory and easily put to test.

Some of the above statements are not supported by empirical evidence from social psychology. As such, the concept of attitude is quite broad: That said, a series of field experiments has provided evidence contrary to the assumption that attitudes and behaviors are closely related.

  • Social Norms
  • Primary and Secondary Norms—The Difference between Law and Morality
  • Difference between Norms and Values of Society

LaPiere famously reported a sharp divergence between the widespread anti-Chinese attitudes in the United States and the tolerant behavior he witnessed. For example, studies of racial prejudice indicate that normative beliefs are more likely to determine behavior in long-lasting relationships, and least likely to determine behavior in the transient situations typical of experimental studies Harding et al.

Such studies, however, do not carefully discriminate among various types of normative beliefs.

Law and Social Norms

The above constitutes an important criticism of the socialized actor theory. According to Parsons, once a norm is internalized, members of society are motivated to conform by an internal sanctioning system; therefore, one should observe a high correlation among all orders of normative beliefs and behavior. However, experimental evidence does not support such a view see also: Fishbein ; Cialdini et al. Another indication that the socialized actor theory lacks generality is the observation that norms can change rather quickly, and that new norms often emerge in a short period of time among complete strangers Mackie Long-term or close interactions do not seem to be necessary for someone to acquire a given normative disposition, as is testified by the relative ease with which individuals learn new norms when they change status or group e.

Moreover, studies of emergent social and political groups have shown that new norms may form rather rapidly, and that the demise of old patterns of behavior is often abrupt Robinson ; Klassen et al.

Social Identity It has been argued that behavior is often closely embedded in a network of personal relations, and that a theory of norms should not leave the specific social context out of consideration Granovetter Critics of the socialized actor theory have called for an alternative conception of norms that may account for the often weak relation between beliefs and behavior Deutscher This alternative approach takes social relations to be crucial in explaining social action, and considers social identity as a key motivating factor.

A strong support for this view among anthropologists is to be found in the work of Cancian Since the notion of social identity is inextricably linked to that of group behavior, it is important to clarify the relation between these concepts. Such dimensions include specific roles and the beliefs or actions that accompany them. Such schemata result in a representation of the social situation that guides the choice of appropriate action. This system has at least two major components, i. Social identity refers to self-descriptions related to group memberships.

Personal identity refers to self-descriptions such as individual character traits, abilities, and tastes. Although personal and social identities are mutually exclusive levels of self-definition, this distinction must be taken as an approximation in that there are many interconnections between social and personal identities. It is, however, important to recognize that we often perceive ourselves primarily in terms of our relevant group memberships rather than as differentiated, unique individuals.

So—depending on the situation—personal or group identity will become salient Brewer Within a group, all those factors that lead members to categorize themselves as different or endowed with special characteristics and traits will enhance personal identity.

If a group has to solve a common task, but each member is to be rewarded according to her contribution, personal abilities are highlighted and individuals will perceive themselves as unique and different from the rest of the group. Conversely, if all group-members are to equally share the reward for a jointly performed task, group identification will be enhanced.

relationship between norms and laws

When the difference between self and fellow group-members is accentuated, we are likely to observe selfish motives and self-favoritism against other group-members. When instead group identification is enhanced, in-group favoritism against out-group members will be activated, as well as behavior contrary to self-interest.

Whenever social identification becomes salient, a cognitive mechanism of categorization is activated in such a way to produce perceptual and behavioral changes.

Such categorization is called a stereotype, the prototypical description of what members of a given category are or are believed to be. Stereotyping, like any other categorization process, activates scripts or schemata, and what we call group behavior is nothing but scripted behavior. When thinking of an Asian student solely in terms of group membership, we attribute her the stereotypical characteristics associated with her group, so she becomes interchangeable with other group-members.

The same process is at work when we perceive ourselves as group-members: It is this cognitive shift that mediates group behavior. Group behavior as opposed to individual behavior is characterized by features such as a perceived similarity between group-members, cohesiveness, a tendency to cooperate to achieve common goals, shared attitudes or beliefs, and conformity to group norms.

Insofar as group-members perceive their interests and goals as identical—because such interests and goals are stereotypical attributes of the group—self-stereotyping will induce a group-member to embrace such interests and goals as her own.

It is thus predicted that pro-social behavior will be enhanced by group membership, and diluted when people act in an individualistic mode Brewer Some general group identities may not involve specific norms, but there are many cases in which group identification and social norms are inextricably connected.

In that case group-members believe that certain patterns of behavior are unique to them, and use their distinctive norms to define group membership.

Many close-knit groups such as the Amish or the Hasidic Jews enforce norms of separation proscribing marriage with outsiders, as well as specific dress codes and a host of other prescriptive and proscriptive norms.

There, once an individual perceives herself as a group-member, she will adhere to the group prototype and behave in accordance with it. Group-specific norms have among other things the twofold function of minimizing perceived differences among group-members and maximizing differences between the group and outsiders.

Once formed, such norms become stable cognitive representations of appropriate behavior as a group-member. Social identity is built around group characteristics and behavioral standards, and hence any perceived lack of conformity to group norms is seen as a threat to the legitimacy of the group. In the social identity framework, group norms are obeyed because one identifies with the group, and conformity is mediated by self-categorization as an in-group member.

A telling historical example of the relationship between norms and group membership was the division of England into the two parties of the Roundheads and Cavaliers. Charles Mackay reports that in those days every species of vice and iniquity was thought by the Puritans to lurk in the long curly tresses of the monarchists, while the latter imagined that their opponents were as destitute of wit, of wisdom, and of virtue, as they were of hair. The more abundant the hair, the more scant the faith; and the balder the head, the more sincere the piety.

In short, there are several empirical predictions one can draw from such a framework. Thus a new norm can be quickly adopted without much interaction, and beliefs about identity validation may change very rapidly under the pressure of external circumstances.

In this case, not just norm compliance, but norms themselves are potentially unstable. The typical hypothesis is that a pre-play, face-to-face communication stage may induce identification with the group, and thus promote cooperative behavior among group-members. In effect, rates of cooperation have been shown to be generally higher in social dilemma experiments preceded by a pre-play communication stage Dawes However, it has been argued that face-to-face communication may actually help group-members gather relevant information about one another: This provides support for the view that communication does not enhance cohesion but rather focuses subjects on relevant rules of behavior, which do not necessarily depend on group identification.

Cooperative outcomes can thus be explained without resorting to the concept of social identity. A social identity explanation appears to be more appropriate in the context of a relatively stable environment, where individuals have had time to make emotional investments or at least can expect repeated future interactions within the same group.

In artificial lab settings, where there are no expectations of future interactions, the concept of social identity seems less persuasive as an explanation of the observed rates of cooperation. On the other hand, we note that social identity does appear to play a role in experimental settings in which participants are divided into separate groups.

Even with stable environments and repeated interactions, however, a theory of norm compliance in terms of social identity cannot avoid the difficulty of making predictions when one is simultaneously committed to different identities.

We may concurrently be workers, parents, spouses, friends, club members, and party affiliates, to name but a few of the possible identities we embrace. For each of them there are rules that define what is appropriate, acceptable, or good behavior.

In the social identity framework, however, it is not clear what happens when one is committed to different identities that may involve conflicting behaviors.

Since in this framework norms are defined as shared perceptions about group beliefs, one would expect that—whenever all members of a group happen to believe that others have changed their beliefs about core membership rules—the very norms that define membership will change.

The study of fashion, fads and speculative bubbles clearly shows that there are some domains in which rapid and possibly disruptive changes of collective expectations may occur; it is, however, much less clear what sort of norms are more likely to be subject to rapid changes think of dress codes rather than codes of honor. The social identity view does not offer a theoretical framework for differentiating these cases: Rule-complying strategies are rationally chosen in order to avoid negative sanctions or to attract positive sanctions.

This class of rational choice models defines norms behaviorally, equating them with patterns of behavior while disregarding expectations or values. Such approach relies heavily on sanctions as a motivating factor. According to Axelrodfor example, if we observe individuals to follow a regular pattern of behavior and to be punished if they act otherwise, then we have a norm.

Similarly, Coleman argues that a norm coincides with a set of sanctions that act to direct a given behavior. However, it has been shown that not all social norms involve sanctions Diamond ; Hoebel Moreover, sanctioning works generally well in small groups and in the context of repeated interactions, where the identity of participants is known and monitoring is relatively easy.

Still, even in such cases there may be a so-called second-order public goods problem. This solution, however, only shifts the problem one level up: Another problem with sanctions is the following: By simply looking at behavior, it is unclear whether the action is a function of a sanction or a sanction itself.

It thus becomes difficult to determine the presence of a norm, or to assess its effect on choice as distinct from the individual strategies of players. A further consideration weakens the credibility of the view that norms are upheld only because of external sanctions. Often we keep conforming to a norm even in situations of complete anonymity, where the probability of being caught transgressing is almost zero.

In this case fear of sanctions cannot be a motivating force. Yet, we have seen that the Parsonian view of internalization and socialization is inadequate, as it leads to predictions about compliance that often run counter to empirical evidence. In particular, James Coleman has argued in favor of reducing internalization to rational choice, insofar as it is in the interest of a group to get another group to internalize certain norms.

In this case internalization would still be the result of some form of socialization. Bicchierihas presented a third, alternative view about internalization.

This view of internalization is cognitive, and is grounded on the assumption that social norms develop in small, close-knit groups where ongoing interactions are the rule.

Upholding a norm that has led one to fare reasonably well in the past is a way of economizing on the effort one would have to exert to devise a strategy when facing a new situation. This does not mean, however, that external sanctions never play a role in compliance: Yet, once a norm is established, there are several mechanisms that may account for conformity.

relationship between norms and laws

Finally, the view that one conforms only because of the threat of negative sanctions does not distinguish norm-abiding behavior from an obsession or an entrenched habit; nor does that view distinguish social norms from hypothetical imperatives enforced by sanctions such as the rule that prohibits naked sunbathing on public beaches.

In these cases avoidance of the sanctions associated with transgressions constitutes a decisive reason to conform, independently of what others do. In fact, in the traditional rational choice perspective, the only expectations that matter are those about the sanctions that follow compliance or non-compliance. In those frameworks, beliefs about how other people will act—as opposed to what they expect us to do—are not a relevant explanatory variable: Game-Theoretic Accounts The traditional rational choice model of compliance depicts the individual as facing a decision problem in isolation: