Folkways refers to the standards of manners recognized in the social context but lacks moral implication. These are norms that govern the day to day behaviors followed by the people due to convenience or tradition. The folkways are not associated with the serious consequences when they are broken. The examples of folkways are cultural dress and food habits. For example, poor table manners amount to breaking the folkways but there are no any legal or moral consequence for breaking the folkways relating to table manners.
Mores refers to the stringent norms used in controlling ethical and moral behavior. Mores are based on the definition of wrong and right. Mores has moral significance, as opposed to folkways. Breaking the mores leads to disapproval, for example, breaking religious doctrines.
Taboos refers to the societal norms held strongly by the members of the society and breaking them leads to extreme disgust. The people who break the taboos are often considered outcasts in the society. An example of taboos is cannibalism.
The degree and consequences of the infringement of the normative expectations influence whether to be considered social or criminal activity. The infractions with severe consequences like murder are considered criminal activities while aspects relating to ethical or moral consequences may be considered social problems in the society.
The definitional process lead to incarceration of fellow citizens depending on the perception towards various violations on folks, mores and taboos in the society (Harty, 2012, p.16). The extent of the violation leads to imprisonment of fellow citizens in relation to their criminal activities in the society.
Social factors relating to economic challenges and low levels of education leads to criminalization of individuals in the society. This is because hard economic conditions may force individuals to violate laws. Ignorance due to low levels of education leads to criminalization of individuals in the society because the illiterate may not understand the laws of the land.
The seriousness of drug abuse justifies the reliance on the social consequences of incarceration because it is associated with many violent activities. These violent activities associated with drug abuse makes it responsible for many criminal activities in the society.
Harty, C. M. (2012). The Causes and Effects of Get Tough: A Look at How Tough-on-Crime Policies Rose to the Agenda and an Examination of Their Effects on Prison Populations and Crime.