Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals

Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals

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Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals

Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In 1899 I began to write out a text-book of sociology from material which I had used in lectures during the previous ten or fifteen years. At a certain point in that undertaking I found that I wanted to introduce my own treatment of the "mores." I could not refer to it anywhere in print, and I could not do justice to it in a chapter of another book. I therefore turned aside to write a treatise on the "Folkways," which I now offer. For definitions of "folkways" and "mores" see secs. 1, 2, 34, 39, 43, and 66. I formed the word "folkways" on the analogy of words already in use in sociology. I also took up again the Latin word "mores" as the best I could find for my purpose. I mean by it the popular usages and traditions, when they include a judgment that they are conducive to societal welfare, and when they exert a coercion on the individual to conform to them, although they are not coördinated by any authority (cf. sec. 42). I have also tried to bring the word "Ethos" into familiarity again (secs. 76, 79). "Ethica," or "Ethology," or "The Mores" seemed good titles for the book (secs. 42, 43), but Ethics is already employed otherwise, and the other words were very unfamiliar. Perhaps "folkways" is not less unfamiliar, but its meaning is more obvious. I must add that if any one is liable to be shocked by any folkways, he ought not to read about folkways at all. "Nature her custom holds, let shame say what it will" (Hamlet, IV, 7, ad fin.). I have tried to treat all folkways, including those which are most opposite to our own, with truthfulness, but with dignity and due respect to our own conventions.

Chapter I contains elaborate definitions and expositions of the folkways and the mores, with an analysis of their play in human . . .

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