Norm and rule

A norm is a collective consensus, created to regulate the behavior of individuals in a society.

A rule is a formal guideline of a social or legal nature, the breach of which is morally or legally penalized.

DefinitionConvention created to regulate life in society.Convention that must be fulfilled in a specific environment.
Agreement typeSocialSocial.


Transmission wayOral.Written
Type of sanctionMoral.Moral.


ExamplePunctuality is considered a social agreement.

Failure to comply may imply a moral sanction.

One of the rules in companies is working hours.

By not complying with them, what is agreed in the contract is disrespected and may imply a sanction or dismissal.


What is a norm?

A norm refers to all the guidelines or guidelines that govern the conduct or behavior of a community, such as a company, a community or society in general.

Norms are social covenants, therefore individuals are expected to abide by such agreements. Hence, some standards may have legal and legal relevance over time.

In addition, the rules also assume moral aspects of society such as justice, respect or honesty.

The breach or violation of a norm does not carry a legal sanction (unless the norm has become a rule), but it does imply social disapproval.

For example, it is the norm to be silent in hospital waiting rooms. Although compliance with the norm is expected, speaking in these types of places does not imply a breach of the laws.

In many cases, the rules are not written, but are part of the oral tradition and are followed by social convention.

What is a ruler?

The rule, for its part, is much more specific than the norm. The rules tell us what should be done and what is not allowed, as well as the respective sanctions in case they are not complied with.

In this sense, the rules can refer to more specific issues in a social or organizational environment. In some cases they derive from general rules.

Usually the rules are recorded in writing, and can be institutionalized before formal bodies, such as traffic laws, the penal code, etc.

In this sense, the rules regulate life in society more strictly than the rules, since their omission or lack of compliance can lead from a moral sanction to jail, depending on the environment, the severity and the type of sanction agreed upon according to the lack.

See also:

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *