Social Norms: Internalization, Persuasion, and History

Law & Society Review, Vol 34, No. 1, pp. 157-178, 2000

18 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2009

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

At issue in the debate over social norms are different conceptions of human nature and the social order, of the ways people behave, and of the ways the law can both modify and be modified by social conduct. Three interpretive frameworks to the discussion of social norms are discussed: (a) whether social norms affect individual behavior merely as environmental/external factors or whether they also shape people's intrinsic predispositions; (b) the specific process by which norms influence people (i.e., whether preferences are considered predetermined or assumed to be modifiable as a result of internalization and persuasion); and (c) the ways social norms themselves are formed (whether merely via rational choice or also through historical transmissions). It is concluded that the discussion of social norms within a legal context is enriched by considering a 'law and socio-economics' model, which combines the law and economics and law and society perspectives into a single discipline.

Keywords: social norms, law, society, behavior, socio-economics

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, Social Norms: Internalization, Persuasion, and History (2000). Law & Society Review, Vol 34, No. 1, pp. 157-178, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1438172

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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