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folkways

folkways A term associated with the work of William Graham Sumner, whose major contribution to sociology was his analysis of the nature, origins, and significance of folkways and mores. The former are group habits (or customs). In Sumner's view, societies develop (by trial and error) the particular ways of acting that are suited to their milieu; these ways of behaving are repeated and produce habits (in individuals) and customs (in groups); and these habits–or folkways–then become the commonly accepted ways of doing things in that society. Sumner is vague about the precise origins of folkways, and inconsistent in stating their relationship to mores, which are essentially folkways embodying moral imperatives about what is right and true. Sometimes the two terms are opposed, but occasionally folkways are deemed to include all commonly accepted ways of thinking, including mores (see Folkways, 1906
).

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folkways

folkways, term coined by William Graham Sumner in his treatise Folkways (1906) to denote those group habits that are common to a society or culture and are usually called customs. The word provided a useful contribution to the development of the concept of culture 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 mores.

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