Distinguishing Mores from Laws

Mores vs Laws

Mores and laws are two distinct types of norms that exist in society, with the key difference between them being the legal power behind each. Both mores and laws are integral components of a society’s culture, which creates social cohesion through shared elements such as traditions, customs, music, dances, and history. Mores are customs or conventions that are typically governed by morality, whereas laws are legally enforced rules established by an authority.

What are Mores?

Mores, a subcategory of norms, are governed by morality and can be viewed as customs or conventions. In every society, there are behaviors regarded as right or wrong, which are usually guided by an individual’s sense of morality. Mores specify which behaviors are acceptable and correct in a society and which are not. They are often influenced by religions and may vary depending on the context and time period. Mores are subject to change, unlike laws, which have a different nature.

What are Laws?

Laws are rules or systems of rules established by an authority and are considered a subcategory of norms, albeit distinct from mores. A law’s primary function is to secure social order within a specific context and assist the ruling party in maintaining justice in society. In some cases, mores influence the creation of laws. For example, stealing is considered morally incorrect and may eventually transform into a law that punishes individuals for theft. While individuals may not be punished by society for going against mores, there are specific punishments for breaking laws. Mores are acquired through the socialization process and become internalized by individuals, whereas laws are more external.

Key Takeaways

  • Mores are norms governed by morality, while laws are rules established by an authority.
  • Mores may differ based on context, while laws are mostly universal.
  • Going against mores results in societal disapproval, whereas going against the law can result in punishment.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles