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Part I Theoretical Overview Social Norms General Concepts The term social norm stands for a rule being enforced by society that affects a wide range of human behavior The crucial point when distinguishing between social norms and other cultural values such as meanings - is the sanctioning thus social norms take the highest place in the hierarchy of values of society Within the last decade social norms have literally been rediscovered as prior to these years the concept of social norms was largely ignored The major part of the contemporary studies are concerned with the idea of integrating social norms into the law and economics paradigm or on the other side of the fence other studies include the social norms into one combining law and socioeconomics model that unites law and economics and law and society disciplines into one conception Etzioni A 156 Robert Ellickson in 1991 pointed out that social norms take a significant place in the traditional law and economics models emphasizing the roles of social norms in terms of social order maintenance 138-139 Social Norms The Ongoing Debate There are three major pairs of opposing concepts presented by Amitai Etzioni in 2000 158 a deeper insight into which is essential when exploring the subject in detail whether social norms affect behavior of society only as external environmental factors or their influence is much deeper and social norms shape peoples intrinsic predispositions the processes by which norms tend to influence people whether processes are modifiable through internalization and persuasion or they are fixed and consequently predetermined finally the way social norms themselves are formed rational choice or historical transmissions It is essential to at least briefly overview the three ongoing debates as this is where the key understanding of both amplification and role of social norms is rooted both on an individual and society levels The Origins of Social Norms The scholarships are yet only to decide about the origins of socials
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