folkways, term coined by William Graham Sumner in his treatise Folkways (1906) to denote those group habits that are common to a society or culture and are usually called customs. The word provided a useful contribution to the development of the concept of culture and is still used in its technical sense in sociological literature. Fashions in clothing or modes of recreation exemplify folkways. The term has failed to maintain the currency it once enjoyed among the other social sciences but has gained acceptance as a colloquial term. See mores.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.