When Captain Cook asked the chiefs in Tahiti why they always ate , they replied, "Because it is right."
If we ask Americans why they eat with knives and forks, or why their men wear pants skirts, or why they may be married to only one person at a time, we are likely to get and very uninformative answers: Because it´s right. "Because that´s the way it´s done." "Because it´s the Or even "I don´t know."
The reason for these and countless other patterns of social behavior is that they are by social norms-shared rules or guidelines which prescribe the behavior that is appropriate in a given situation.
Norms how people "ought" to behave under particular circumstances in a particular society.
We conform(遵守)to norms so readily that we are hardly aware they .
In fact,we are much more likely to notice from norms than conformity to them.
You would not surprised if a stranger tried to shake hands when you were introduced, but you might be a little if they bowed, started to stroke you, or kissed you on both .
Yet each of these other forms of greeting is appropriate in other parts of the world.
When we visit another society whose norms are different, we quickly become aware that things we do this way, they do that way.