Sanctions are society's reactions to deviant behavior. The term is often associated with law, and especially with criminal law and international relations. Anthropologists have also adopted the term for the social sciences. For modern sociology, the concept of sanctions has become a central element of social norms theory, which serves to explain social integration.

Behavioral Patterns

The Classification of Patterns

Many terms exist for a variety of behavior patterns that scholars have not clearly defined: usage, habit, custom, folkway, moral, convention, fashion, standard, rule, or law. In sociology, the notion of social norms is a prominent concept. A social norm is a behavioral pattern that becomes obligatory for the members of a group because sanctions protect it. Patterns of behavior without sanctions, alternatively, are just habit or routine. ...

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