The Social Process Theories

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A social norm is a specified code of conduct that is acceptable within a society or group. These norms include both appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that are expected of individuals under given circumstances (Lewis, 1969). They are neither static nor universal as they keep on changing with time and vary with respect to culture, class and groups. There are two different types of social norms, namely behavioral or descriptive norms and attitudinal or injunctive norms. Descriptive norms are defined as actions and behaviors that are depicted by individuals in a social group setting. These norms are informal and originate from the day to day social interactions hence are neither enforced by the justice system nor other formal bodies (Cook, 2003).Behavioral norms attract no social sanctions for non-conformity with the norms. Injunctive norms on the other hand are beliefs and expectations of how individuals or people should behave within a group setting under given situations. Individuals tend to conform to attitudinal norms out of fear of possible interdictions as a result of not following them. Dominant culture refers to the approved languages, culture, beliefs, values, and customs that are portrayed as for the general society. Dominant culture achieves dominion over other cultures through domination of the social institutions such as communication, education, art, politics, law and business.Dominant culture has played the role of judging
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