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folkways

[fohk-weyz]
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plural noun Sociology.
  1. the ways of living, thinking, and acting in a human group, built up without conscious design but serving as compelling guides of conduct.
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Origin of folkways

folk + ways; term introduced in a book of the same title (1907) by W. G. Sumner
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

developmentlifestyleknowledgehabitsocietycivilizationfolklorestylepracticesystemrulepolicyritemethodmorescustomsconventionethnologyhumanismgrounding

Examples from the Web for folkways

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The folkways, therefore, are not creations of human purpose and wit.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • The folkways are necessarily "true" with respect to some world philosophy.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • Perhaps "folkways" is not less unfamiliar, but its meaning is more obvious.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • The folkways, at a time, provide for all the needs of life then and there.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • Money is another primitive device which is produced in the folkways.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner


British Dictionary definitions for folkways

folkways

pl n
  1. sociol traditional and customary ways of living
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for folkways

n.

coined 1907 in book of the same name by U.S. sociologist William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), who also is credited with ethnocentrism, found in the same book.

Folkways are habits of the individual and customs of the society which arise from efforts to satisfy needs. ... Then they become regulative for succeeding generations and take on the character of a social force. [Sumner, "Folkways"]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper