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What are some social norms in the US?

Social Norms in America
Social Norms in America
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Social norms are rules of behavior that individuals in society observe. Norms are acceptable behaviors, and it is imperative to follow social norms when people are in the community.

Social norms usually change throughout different societies. These changes have also affected social norms in America. This article will get acquainted with social norms examples in the United States. We also look at 7 weird social norms in america.

Are you familiar with social norms in America?

In this article, we will provide helpful explanations about social norms in this country. We hope this information helps you to gain a better understanding of social norms in the united states.

Do social norms and behaviors change in different countries?

To answer this question, we must say yes. Usually, social norms change over the years, not just once or twice. Instead, we always see several changes in social behaviors and standards over the years. Changing social norms in different societies is undeniable. So if a long time has passed since your trip to a particular country and you plan to travel to that country for a summer vacation, it is better to get good information about its customs, culture, and social norms.

In modern America, we see behaviors that were not acceptable in the past. We have to say that people living in American society have a different view of social norms, and this change in social norms is quite evident in their behavior.

Changing social norms throughout American history

When we talk about changing social norms, we can name the United States as one of the primary societies undergoing many social norms and customs changes.

The LGBT community, relationships, dating, and premarital sex are actual examples of changing social norms in the United States. In the past, social norms in America were such that other generations were more conservative in dealing with dating and premarital sex issues. But today, in modern America, we see modern dating and relationships that do not care about the social norms of this country in the past. We will examine examples of social norms in america below.

One example of changing social norms in America dates back to the 1900s and 1910s.

If a boy or a girl wanted to date, they would inform their parents.

Parents generally supervised friendship appointments, and one of the social norms of dating at the time was to inform the parents’ son or daughter about it.

In the following decades, the 1920s and 1930s, the style of friendly dating changed and was different from what was common in the past because young people used dating to get to know another person better. If we compare the norms of the 1930s with the previous years, the things we have stated will be a kind of social norms examples to break.

Social Norms in America and dating girls with boys
Social Norms in America and dating girls with boys

2 Teenage social norms examples in america

Every society has different social norms. Community members follow social norms because they are appropriate guidelines for thinking, looking, and behaving in a given society or country.

But usually, teenagers follow a specific culture. Adults do not usually understand the cultures and customs that adolescents seek to follow.

1. Wear fashionable clothes

For example, today’s American teens seek out certain social norms and constantly pursue behaviors such as texting, taking selfies, and wearing fashionable clothing. For example, Hipster is an example of a visual show and subculture of teenagers.

Hipster or hipsterism was in the 21st century as a subculture. Following fashion is one of the leading indicators of hipster identity.

Of course, it is interesting to know that people who follow this subculture do not usually introduce themselves as hipsters. Because the word often has a derogatory meaning, it refers to pretentious people or too concerned about their fashionable appearance.

2. Presence in various social networks

Social networking is a vital interest and even a social norm for American teens. We always see their presence on various social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, and Twitter.

An essential list of social norms in the United States

If you travel to the United States from another country or plan to stay in the United States to study or work, you need to be aware of the many cultural differences that exist in that country. Social norms in America depend on the different Cultural Norms in the United States , beliefs, and backgrounds.

1. Reward

Rewards are unrestricted in the United States. So if you are eating in a restaurant and want to reward one of the employees, you can do it safely.

You also need to know that you will be able to change meals in American restaurants and customize the menu items and food you have chosen. You can also order the food you want by adding or removing some seasonings.

2. Positive confirmation

In the United States, people raise their thumbs when they want to give positive feedback to each other. Submitting your thumb indicates that you approve of what happened or what you did or said.

Social Norms in America and Positive confirmation
Social Norms in America and Positive confirmation

3. Use of smartphones

In America, you can use your smartphone anywhere and even answer and call your calls. You will be able to send messages to others even when you are in a group.

There is no problem if you use your cell phone while eating or entertaining guests in the United States. It is not a bad thing to do that in American social norms.

Social Norms in America and Use of smartphones
Social Norms in America and Use of smartphones

4. Dress in American public places

In some countries, wearing slippers and sweatpants or wrinkled shirts is condemned. People in many countries always try to wear clean and tidy clothes when attending society. But in the United States, it is common to wear unusual clothes, and you can appear in public places in comfortable clothes.

Social Norms in America and Dress in American public places
Social Norms in America and Dress in American public places

5. Ask questions

In America, there are no social norms for asking personal questions. So people may ask you questions about various topics, for example, where are you from, what is your job.

Their purpose in asking such questions is to get to know you better.

Social Norms in America and Ask questions
Social Norms in America and Ask questions

6. Cigarettes and drugs or alcohol

American social norms are such that the consumption of alcohol under the age of 21 is not typical. People addicted to alcohol or drugs start smoking drugs or alcohol after reaching 21.

It is essential to know that drinking alcohol is a crime for people under 21, and they are convicted. In general, social norms in America do not allow people to smoke in most public places. There are usually designated smoking areas in the country.

7. Classroom etiquette in America

When you study in the United States as a student, you should know that discussion and participation in the classroom are highly encouraged. Your participation in the school will affect your final grade.

One of the social norms examples in school is that the presence of students in the class is essential, and they should attend the class as much as possible.

Understanding what teachers teach students is crucial. So as a student, do not just try to memorize the material. Try to understand your lessons correctly.

According to some professors, in the United States, eating and chewing student gum in the classroom is not a problem. But some other professors have a different opinion. So it is best to be aware of standard social norms and norms before engaging in such behaviors in the classroom.

4 social norms that should be broken in USA

Some social norms are very harmful and force people to do something they are unwilling to do. So it is better to plan as soon as possible and in a better way for social norms that should be broken. The following are bad social norms examples.

1. Obligation to answer calls

Humans tend to spend time alone and not respond to incoming calls or messages in many cases. But it will be difficult for us to do so because of social norms and expectations.

2. Act according to customs or religion

Many times we have no reason to do many things. Doing many things is due to cultural compulsion or religious precepts. It will be difficult for us to do things that are not in line with our beliefs.

3. Transmitting information, beliefs, and customs to children

Many parents seek to pass on old social norms from one generation to another, either orally or giving examples. It is essential to pay attention and respect to how the new generation thinks and feels.

4. Insisting on cultural continuity in attitudes, customs

Many people follow traditions because they have to. They have not made an informed decision to follow the customs. The children do some things only for the consent of their parents. The reason is the insistence on the continuation of religious or cultural beliefs.

pet culture in america

  1. Americans have a friendly relationship with their pets. They consider their pets as part of their family.
  2. One of the American social norms about pets is that Americans spend a lot of time and money on buying pets.
  3. In addition to the social norms on this subject, you should know that there are even special laws to protect pets in America. The government has passed these laws to prevent cruelty to animals.

4. Americans are interested in keeping dogs, cats, hamsters, and fish in their homes.

Conclusion about american social norms

In this article, we provided information about social norms in America so that you can behave following society when you are in this country. It is essential to know the social norms and norms in a country where you plan to live or even go on a short trip.

We hope you find this helpful article and share it with your friends. If you live in the United States, please tell us what social norms are standard in this country. Also, follow us on various social networks.


  1. Harorimana, D. (Ed.). (2010). Cultural Implications of Knowledge Sharing, Management and Transfer. Advances in Knowledge Acquisition, Transfer, and Management. Published.
  2. Goode, E. (2015). Deviant Behavior,(11th ed.). New York: Pearson, Education.
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