We play various types of roles in the private or public life. While playing such diverse roles, we accumulate both positive and negative experiences with us. Opinions are nothing but the product of these experiences. Afterwards, structured opinions convince our natural instinct to believe in what we have stored so far.This is the beginning of belief system which gets modified in the course of time by norms, values, and education. In this blog, “Understanding belief system” you will get better insight of it.
Social norms and belief system
Although these are different in different societies, there is no difference in its characteristic.
Social norms are the primary source of coercive force of society. Deviant behaviour results in case of break in social norms or rules of society. Whereas, whosoever, obeys to rules, receives reward and respect, disregarding personal abilities .
It is the common case in the highly closed societies where social ethos are the only yardstick to test right or wrong. Hence, the people in such social structure believe in and voice in favour of permanency instead change. Here, attitudinal transformation takes longer period.
Role of values
Social norms are strictly limited to space. Once we get out of such set up, the domain of perspective and evaluation expands. In the open atmosphere where the dominance of values is more than norms, actor tends to compare and contrast among things that they encounter. In this way, it starts admitting the otherwise possibilities. We must not forget that no person is right or wrong but the atmosphere in which he or she evolves. Truly, situation is more instrumental in constructing beliefs system not the person in situation.
The most important role that education plays here is to ignite the spirit of inquiry. No doubt, fetters free actor is capable to think critically to reach at the consistent conclusion. It empowers individual to be an independent, rational being with right blend of thoughts and feelings.
No agency could affect such actor with powerful foundation of beliefs, based on combination of logic and experiences. Sociologists agree that the absolute pattern cannot be found in the human actions like natural science.
Therefore, mere experience cannot be the foundation of thought process, considering the changing and unpredictable nature of social animal.
In a nutshell
I don’t claim that all social norms are negative, nor support the anarchic social order but emphasis on right blend of desirable elements of all. Only through this process, an independent, rational social stakeholder could be possible. Belief system is unavoidable psychic aspect of human beings. It takes a longer period to crystallize. It is better to begin with beginning.