Mores and institutions

These will be easy to understand by creating a couple of definitions.

More: a shared expectation of behavior.

We expect people to stop at red lights, and we expect them to share this expectation. It’s this standardization of behavior that allows economic specialization to exist, and thereby allows SCALE to exist. There are implicit mores and explicit mores, but hereafter I will use the word more to refer only to implicit mores because this is the preferred sort for modern white people (who are extremely concerned with “normal” behavior).

In the US today there is a formal rule of behavior that says you’re supposed to drive at or under the posted speed limit. But there is a more that says you’re supposed to drive approximately five miles per hour above the speed limit, which forces you to break the law on a continual basis. The reason given is that, if you don’t follow this more, other people will become frustrated because they are stuck driving at the lawful speed limit rather than following the expected social behavior themselves.

Identity matters when it comes to mores. Old women are not expected to drive above the speed limit because of their identity. People who know more of these expected behaviors are often described as “smart” or some variant thereof, whereas people who don’t are usually described as “stupid”, “hopeless”, “awkward”, etc. In recent years it has become trendy to be socially awkward as a form of female peacocking (or “chic geek” peacocking), which muddies the waters somewhat.

Institution: a set of mores which transmits other mores across generations

Teacher colleges are an example of an institution. A teacher college teaches teachers how to create lesson plans, and other skills and theory related to teaching. They are, themselves, taught by teachers following teaching plans and existing theories of learning.

An institution has nothing to do with buildings or bylaws or other formal trappings often mistaken for the essence of institutions. It’s all about people and shared expectations of behavior.

About Aeoli Pera

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4 Responses to Mores and institutions

  1. Robotnick says:

    Spot on in my book.

    Yeah, the part about modern white people’s extreme concern for normal behavior is quite true. I think at least part of this is born out of a trend set by people with closed low-set deep sockets like those of Mitt Romney.

    One of the few things I miss about Mexico is that there didn’t seem to be this stifling sense of formality and normalness between them and with me.
    Not to say I could connect with most of them though.

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