They serve their purpose, UNTIL they become a tyranny of their own.<quoted text> A Cultural Norm is just what the name implies, I f you wish I could even quote the definition for you Sociologists speak of at least four types of norms: folkways, mores, taboos, and laws. Folkways, sometimes known as conventions or customs, are standards of behavior that are socially approved but not morally significant. For example, belching loudly after eating dinner at someone else's home breaks an American folkway. Mores are norms of morality. Breaking mores, like attending church in the nude, will offend most people of a culture. Certain behaviors are considered taboo, meaning a culture absolutely forbids them, like incest in U.S. culture. Finally, laws are a formal body of rules enacted by the state and backed by the power of the state. Virtually all taboos, like child abuse, are enacted into law, although not all mores are. For example, wearing a bikini to church may be offensive, but it is not against the law. Members of a culture must conform to its norms for the culture to exist and function. Hence, members must want to conform and obey rules. They first must internalize the social norms and values that dictate what is normal for the culture; then they must socialize, or teach norms and values to, their children. If internalization and socialization fail to produce conformity, some form of social control is eventually needed. Social control may take the form of ostracism, fines, punishments, and even imprisonment
During the debates leading up to the American Declaration of Independence from the British Empire, one of our founders posed the question for discussion: "Why should I exchange one tyrant 3000 miles away, for 3000 tyrants 1 mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's Freedom as well as a King."
America structured it's government based upon DIStrust of BOTH the Government AND of "Tyranny of the Majority". Our Constitution set in place "checks and balances" designed to scatter power among the various branches of Government, pitting them agaisnt each other yet requiring cooperation for anything to get done. It also guaranteed the sovereignty of the People, but protected INDIVIDUAL sovereignty from the majority. A separate and independent supreme Judiciary was created the final authority on all matters referred to it by lower Courts (it cannot choose to hear a case not brought to it from a lower Court), and ANY attempt to influence the Courts in ANY way or by ANY MEANS is grievous crime.
In our history, the U.S. has had only three Constitutional crises. One during the Administration of Thomas Jefferson. One resulting in our Civil War. The last was the case of President Richard Nixon.
For 237 years, the system has worked. In that time there has been a steady progression TOWARD more recognition of innate Freedoms as Rights to be guaranteed and protected by Government. At the same time, there are others within who only seek their private gain at the expense of everyone else, and wish to deprive them of the freedoms that birth gave them.
"It's not how well the bear dances. It's that it dances at all."
America, and American cultures are an experiment.
Learning comes from experience. More experience means more learning. Greater diversity and freedom provide more experience. Diversity and Freedom lead to more learning.
At the same time there are those working to "dumb-down" the Citizens.
It's the age old struggle. Self-appointed oligarchs vs everyone else. It isn't "class warfare". It's thieves and bullies against freedom itself.
I studied ALL of the social sciences. I started college at 14 and literally wiped out the Social Science offerings in the Course Catalog. They created a special fully accredited Degree for me: "Bachelor of Social Sciences". The alternative would have been to give me nine Bachelors. lol I'm acquainted with the discipline.