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Sociologists Recognize Norms in Formal and Informal Essay

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Updated: Dec 17th, 2021

Introduction

Social norms are the rules and regulations that govern the behavior of the members of society. Different social groups and institutions may have varied norms that govern the interactions amongst the members. Formal norms are rules and regulations which are well articulated and must be followed by a specific group of individuals; these are put in place by a formal authority; punishments for their violations are also well-articulated. The informal norms are rules and regulation that just guides the interaction of individual but do not attract severe punishment. In most cases, informal norms are never recorded and their violation attracts informal sanctions.

Norms for Student Behavior

Both the formal and the informal norms are applicable to high school students. The use of both norms contributes to ensuring that students do what is required and also gives them some freedom to choose what to do and not to do during certain times. There are rules and regulations that must strictly be followed by all students. The rules create the institutional order; all teachers are required to help the administration to enforce these kinds of rules and are also allowed to punish any form of violation to the formal norms, appropriate punishments are also well spelled. These norms include but are not limited to attending all classes, attending the assembly, being in school uniforms and class on time as specified in the school rules, arriving in school, respecting all teachers and other school staff members, and being smartly dressed and kempt.

The informal norms are also crucial in guiding students’ behavior (Tuomela 1995). These require them to use their common sense. It is important to recognize that students are themselves a social group and need to set a culture of behavior guided by their own norms which must be consistent with the formal norms of the school. For instance, at games time the students should be left to choose what type of games each is interested in; they may be encouraged to play certain games but must be left to either accept or refuse without being subjected to any form of sanction. The students may also be allowed to have certain informal rules amongst themselves; the rules may include collecting money amongst them to help a fellow student with a problem, let them decide whether to attend appropriate religious unions, or decide on the type of entertainment they want. Using informal norms in high school will enhance the relationship between the students and the teachers since they will not view the administration as very strict.

College students are mostly considered adults. They are therefore expected to be guided by the national constitution. The college administrations are only concerned with the performance of the students, they never force students to attend classes or follow certain rules; however, each student must always face the consequences of violating the college norms. In fact, violating college norms does not have any physical harm but can potentially ruin one’s career. Being aware of these consequences prevents the college students from violating either the formal or informal norms of the college. At college, students are not only trained on careers that will give them better jobs, but they also learn, in an informal way, the important ethics that will guide their interactions at workplaces. They also have the responsibility to take care of themselves, while in high school they are under the guidance of the teachers (Tuomela, 1995). In conclusion, as a principal, I will employ both formal and informal norms in dealing with students.

References

Tuomela, R. (1995). The importance of us: A philosophical study of basic social notions. New York: Stanford University Press.

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IvyPanda. (2021, December 17). Sociologists Recognize Norms in Formal and Informal. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociologists-recognize-norms-in-formal-and-informal/

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IvyPanda. "Sociologists Recognize Norms in Formal and Informal." December 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociologists-recognize-norms-in-formal-and-informal/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Sociologists Recognize Norms in Formal and Informal." December 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociologists-recognize-norms-in-formal-and-informal/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Sociologists Recognize Norms in Formal and Informal'. 17 December.

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