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Legitimacy

Legitimacy concerns the degree to which a practice, structure, organization, or type of organization conforms to the norms, values, laws, and rules of a social system and thus is acceptable to or appropriate in the social system. In this entry, the term subject refers to the practice, structure, organization, or type of organization whose legitimacy is being considered, and the term standards refers to the norms, values, laws, rules, and so on against which the subject is compared. Legitimation refers to the process by which an organization gains legitimacy, and de-legitimation refers to the process by which an organization loses legitimacy. The etymological origin of legitimacy is the Latin word for lawful: legitimus. For millennia, people have been concerned about the legitimacy of heirs, especially ...

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