Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Folkways and Mores

Folkways vs Mores

The world is one, big community which is made up of several different societies that are distinct from one another. These societies have their own history, laws, beliefs, traditions, practices, customs, and ways of life.

These make each society different and shape how their people act. Even a nation or country can have societies or ethnic groups that differ, each according to their own customs, traditions, and religions which they have followed from their ancestors.

These beliefs, habits, practices, rules, customs, traditions, and manners are called by different names. They are called etiquette, decorum, propriety, values, virtues, folkways, and mores. While these terms may have similar meanings, they have different connotations.

Folkways are shared customs or beliefs that have become part of the common culture of a group or society. They are habits of a certain individual that has been generally accepted by society and which are followed by its other members. It is a term which was introduced in 1907 by William Graham Sumner, an American sociologist. He defined it as informal social conventions which have no moral importance but became the customary behavior of the group because of their repetition.

They are the feelings, thinking, and actions which slowly developed as men repeatedly use them to satisfy their basic needs. In time, these habits become widely accepted, constant, and more positive becoming into a way of life and turning into folkways.

Mores, on the other hand, are moral customs, manners, traditions, and conventions of a social group or society. They are the values, virtues, and norms of society that define how they should act and interact with each other. They are developed from the established practices of a group of people and not from their laws. Some of these practices may be approved by society or not while others may be tolerated or not by members of the group.

The term “mores” comes from the Latin word “mores” which means “customs, manners, or morals.” It has been used in the English language since the late 19th century.


1.Folkways are habits of individuals or of a group of people which have been accepted and followed by its members and eventually became accepted as a way of life while mores are moral customs and traditions that are shared by a group of people that makes up a society.
2.Folkways are informal social conventions with no moral significance while mores are social conventions that are morally significant.
3.Both terms were first used during the early 1900s. While the word “mores” comes from Latin, the word “folkways” was introduced by American sociologist William Graham Sumner.
4.Both folkways and mores were developed from the people’s habitual actions and not from society’s laws; folkways in a way are a certain type of mores.
5.While both folkways and mores instruct people on how they should act, mores, which represent the values of a group, are stricter while folkways are the feelings, thinking, and actions of a group and are less strict.

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  1. Do you think mores are very important in the country as a whole?

    • Yes off course!
      Mores are also very important in any country. Sometimes these unites country ,which may not be willingly for some peoples, but it can raise the feeling of togetherness in majority. These types of mores becomes folkways after removal of non logical parts of these.

  2. Mores,folkways,and laws are very important to be taught in our Primary and Secodary Liberian schools.

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