folkways

[fohk-weyz]
plural noun Sociology.
the ways of living, thinking, and acting in a human group, built up without conscious design but serving as compelling guides of conduct.

Origin:
folk + ways; term introduced in a book of the same title (1907) by W. G. Sumner

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Collins
World English Dictionary
folkways (ˈfəʊkˌweɪz)
 
pl n
sociol traditional and customary ways of living

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

folkways
coined 1907 in book of the same name by U.S. sociologist William Graham Sumner 18401910), who also is credited with ethnocentrism, found in the same book.
Folkways are habits of the individual and customs of the society which arise from efforts to satisfy needs. ... Then they become regulative for succeeding generations and take on the character of a social force. [Sumner, Folkways]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

folkway

the learned behaviour, shared by a social group, that provides a traditional mode of conduct. According to the American sociologist William Graham Sumner, who coined the term, folkways are social conventions that are not considered to be of moral significance by members of the group (e.g., customary behaviour for use of the telephone). The folkways of groups, like the habits of individuals, originate in the frequent repetition of acts that prove successful for satisfying basic human needs. These acts become uniform and are widely accepted. Folkways operate primarily at an unconscious level and persist because they are expedient. They tend to group themselves around major social concerns, such as sex, forming social institutions (e.g., the family). Sumner believed that folkways from diverse areas of life tended to become consistent with each other, creating definite patterns

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
As the insects spread, people exchanged various folkway remedies.
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