A folkway is a norm for everyday behavior that people follow for the sake of convenience or tradition. People practice folkways simply because they have done things that way for a long time. Violating a folkway does not usually have serious consequences.

Example: Holding the door open for a person right behind you is a folkway.


A more (pronounced MORE-ay) is a norm based on morality, or definitions of right and wrong. Since mores have moral significance, people feel strongly about them, and violating a more usually results in disapproval.

Example: Parents who believe in the more that only married people should live together will disapprove of their son living with his girlfriend. They may consider their son’s action a violation of the moral guidelines for behavior.


A law is a norm that is written down and enforced by an official agency. Violating a law results in a specific punishment.

Example: It is illegal in most countries to drive a car while drunk, and a person violating this law may get cited for driving under the influence (DUI), which may bring a fine, loss of driver’s license, or even jail time.

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