In an encyclopaedia society is referred to as a social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and cultural expectations. Human society is a group of people related to each other through different kinds of relationships. Living in a society requires social behaviour. Rules, conventions and manners are the fundamentals of every society. It’s very important to keep these principles because they can help people get along with other people.
The study of moral rules and manners is called ethics. It teaches us what behaviour is right and what is not, what is morally right and what is wrong. Etiquette is a code of behaviour that defines expectations for social behaviour according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. Modern etiquette prescribes, for example, the rules of greeting and polite communication; it tells us what clothing is appropriate for different occasions, proper dining manners, etc. But we have to be careful because what is a must in one culture can be absolutely unacceptable in another.
For instance, Asian and Muslim countries have very specific rules. Let us have a look at some examples. Unlike in some parts of East Asia, it is considered bad manner to burp in public in European and generally western countries. Correct manners are very important among the Japanese. Bowing is probably the feature of Japanese etiquette that is best-known outside Japan. The proper way of bowing is extremely important among the Japanese. Although children normally begin learning how to bow at a very young age, companies commonly provide training to their employees in how to bow correctly. The family, school and environment we are exposed to every day play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s character and conscience. What we learn at a younger age becomes a permanent part of us. Children instinctively know right from wrong. But adults need to set an example that helps to develop this natural instinct, because children behave according to what they see. It is extremely important to promote relationships of understanding, dignity, empathy and mutual respect between all people, governments and other forms of life. The absence of such virtues can lead to bringing up ill-mannered children. Today, however, manners have lost the importance that they once had. Manners used to be a very important part of daily life for all people, but lately, people seem to be shifting away from proper behaviour. People only want what is best and most convenient for them. It is not just a certain group of people who have poor manners, but instead it is society as a whole who lacks them. Life has sped up with all of today’s modern achievements and developments, and people rarely take the time to pleasantly interact with one another anymore. Family life has drastically changed, so children are being raised without proper manners.
Technology has changed life more than anything, speeding up everyday life and making people forget about common courtesy. Television has played a major role in the loss of manners. Children spend countless hours in front of the television every day, watching tasteless programmes.
They see how the people on TV present themselves and follow their poor examples. It seems that the world has gone insane teaching our children that rudeness and a lack of decorum is acceptable. People do not hold a door open for others or say please/thank you. You can even meet a salesperson who does not say thank you for your purchase. The joy of human interaction, making someone smile, or being thoughtful of others is becoming a “lost art”.
Answer the questions:
- Describe what social behaviour is.
- Why has the loss of manners become so acceptable in modern society? How can we change it?
- Talk about the types of manners that you have been taught in your family.
- Name some examples of clothing etiquette.
- How has Covid-19 affected social norms?