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STUDY OF THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMPOR-
TANCE OF USAGES, MANNERS, CUS-
TOMS, MORES, AND MORALS
WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE IN YALE UNIVERSITY
Thus it is clearly seen that use, rather than reason, has
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,
What custom wills, in all things should we do't.
Coriolanus, II, 3
The Athenæum Press
In 1899 I began to write out a text-book of sociology from material which I had used in lectures during the previous ten or ifteen years. At a certain point in that undertaking I found That I wanted to introduce my own treatment of the “mores." I could not refer to it anywhere in print, and I could not do Sice to it in a chapter of another book. I therefore turned
to write a treatise on the “ Folkways,” which I now offer. Tisr definitions of “ folkways " and “ mores see secs. I, 34, 39, 13. ?nd 66. I formed the word “folkways" on the analogy of Won's already in use in sociology. I also took up again the Loriin word “mores” as the best I could find for my purpose. ! mein by it the popular usages and traditions, when they include iz judgment that they are conducive to societal welfare, and 1: horno they exert a coercion on the individual to conform to 1:* uitlgh they are not coördinated by any authority (cf. sec. 42) I have also tried to bring the word “Ethos,” into familiarity diain (secs. 76, 79). Ethica,” or “ Ethology,” or “ The Mores Si'llard good titles for the book (secs. 42, 43), but Ethics is already employed otherwise, and the other words werd very unfamiliar. Perhaps “ folkways” is not less unfamiliar, but its mening is more obvious. I must add that if any one is liable to be shocked by any folkways he ought not to read about folkways 1t ill
“Nature her custom holds, let shame say what it will (lir let, IV, 7, ad fin.). I have tried to treat all folkways, inCuida!ig those which are most opposite to our own, with truthfulness, but with dignity and due respect to our own conventions.
Chapter I contains elaborate definitions and expositions of the folk rays and the mores, with an analysis of their play in human society. Chapter II shows the bearing of the folkways on human inter', and the way in which they act or are acted on. The thesis which is expounded in these two chapters is : that the Kikuys are habits of the individual and customs of the society which arise from efforts to satisfy needs; they are intertwined