What Are Examples of Folkways?

Folkways are behaviors that are typical in a society. These behaviors typically govern unimportant details of day-to-day life, such as how people should dress or behave. Folkways may include how to dress for a funeral, how to behave while eating or other common social behaviors.

Folkways are enforced by the society as a whole, with mild negative reinforcement for inappropriate behavior. Individuals who fail to practice the folkway may be verbally scorned or may not be accepted socially. For example, someone who dresses in a nonconforming manner may have difficulty fitting in or obtaining employment. Folkways may dictate privacy levels, manners and social etiquette, as well as body language and clothing choices.