We explain what the rules are, why they are so important for life in society and what their general characteristics are.

What are the standards?

Norms are rules or expectations of conduct that are established by society to achieve a harmonious coexistence and that may vary according to each culture .

They are a guide to recognize acceptable behavior in a given area, so they vary depending on the context . For example, the standards of an organization , an educational institution or a church. The term norm comes from the Latin "norm" which means command, prescription or order.

The norm-sharing social unit may be a small group, such as family or friends, or it may include many members, such as adherents of a religious doctrine or an entire society .

Conflict is normal in any group, so it is necessary to maintain order and balance. Norms regulate individual and group behavior through standards or patterns of behavior, from dress to ethical values.

Characteristics of the standards

The standards are characterized by:

  • Being rules oriented to carry out an action, they are not conceptual abstractions.
  • Involve a more specific action than a value or ideal.
  • Determine the rights and obligations of citizens .
  • Be universal, since no society can function without the incorporation of norms.
  • Be internalized by individuals through the process of socialization.
  • Be relative, since they vary from one culture to another.
  • Vary according to the time.
  • Provide guidance on how human behavior should be.
  • Be a duty, not an obligation. Its non-compliance may imply social rejection and guilt.
  • Be based on ethics and morals .

Types of standards

Types of standards

The main types of rules depending on the context are:

  • Social norms . Expectations that regulate and guide life in society about what to believe, how to behave and how to interact with others. For example, popular customs and folklore .
  • Moral norms . Values-based rules about what is right or wrong to maintain human dignity . For example, honesty or taboos.
  • Legal norms. Regulations that vary according to the legislation of each company and their non-compliance carries legal sanctions and penalties. They are written in legal documents and are imposed by the executive or legislative power . For example, laws and decrees.
  • Family norms. Rules of behavior for children according to the values expressed by the family. They give a sense of belonging and are a parameter for individuals to function adequately in society.
  • Religious rules . Rules of behavior according to each doctrine that govern the members of each creed. They are usually written in sacred books. For example, the ten commandments of the Catholic Church.
  • Linguistic rules. Set of rules that establish and allow the recognition of a given language, for its correct semantic and phonetic expression.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


MA student of the TransAtlantic Masters program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Political Science with a focus on European Studies. Expressed ideas are open to revision. He not only covers Technical articles but also has skills in the fields of SEO, graphics, web development and coding. .

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