The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Måns Svensson

Måns Svensson

Senior lecturer (Leave of Absence)

Måns Svensson

Norms in Law and Society: Towards a Definition of the Socio-Legal Concept of Norms


  • Måns Svensson


  • Matthias Baier

Summary, in English

The aim of this paper is to present a model for creating a more coherent concept, designed to meet the demands of the multidisciplinary field of Sociology of Law. This model is built on an ontological analysis that can incorporate different perspectives. The suggested analysis is mainly founded on the Aristotelian concepts of ‘essence’ and ‘accident.’ Thus, the method is concerned with distinguishing between norms’ ‘essential’ attributes that lie in their (the norms’) nature, (together they form the general definition of the socio-legal concept of norms); and other ‘accidental’ attributes that are characteristic within certain groups of norms (for example social and legal). The socio-legal concept of norms, presented here, acknowledges three essential attributes that define the nature of norms. The first two are relating to the dual ontological existence/shape of norms and the third to the importance of acknowledging the behavioural dimension. Hence, all types of norms (for example, social, legal, etc.) have two ontological attributes and one behavioural. Accordingly, norms are: (a) imperatives; (b) social facts; and (c) beliefs.


  • Department of Sociology of Law
  • Centre for Work, Technology and Social Change (WTS)

Publishing year







Social and Legal Norms

Document type

Book chapter




  • Law and Society


  • Muzafer Sherif
  • law
  • social norms
  • law and society
  • sociology of law
  • Émile Durkheim
  • Hans Kelsen
  • legal pluralism
  • theory



Research group

  • Cybernorms