Social norms are the rules that guide and constrain behaviours within any culture or society and both stem from and control what is appropriate behaviour within that environment. Social norms are the arbiters of order, organisation and structure within any society. However, despite the fact that they regulate social interactions and maintain order within a society, norm violations are frequent.
A number of previous studies have found that in many societies, regular and blatant norm violators tend to be controlled, often in subtle ways, and they are frequently prevented from being able to gain positions of influence.
These are normal parts of everyday life, but the questions are:
- Why do some people violate social norms?
- How are norm violators controlled and their influence restricted?
- Why and who are the arbiters of social norm following?