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Day 19 – Q 4.Should a person’s perception of right or wrong be based on societal norms? Critically comment.

4. Should a person’s perception of right or wrong be based on societal norms? Critically comment.  

क्या किसी व्यक्ति की सही या गलत की धारणा सामाजिक मानदंडों पर आधारित होनी चाहिए? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।


A person develops his perception based on a number of factors and is necessary for his reasoning, judgment and actions under certain circumstances.


Perception should be based on societal norms:

  • Society as a unit- Human live in a society and all his actions are influenced by or directed at the society, thus it is natural to base his perceptions on social norms. For example, polygamy is not considered right in most societies.
  • Norms are universal- Stealing is not considered right in any society, whereas respect and gratitude are always welcomed.
  • Result of long tradition- Ways to eat food are part of tradition of the society, for those living in coastal areas marine food is right, whereas for agriculture dominated society a vegetarian diet is right.
  • Maintain dignity and decency- Rules around dressing up for both genders like not exposing one’s skin in public is to maintain dignity in the society.
  • Nudge towards right behavior- Teaching respect for elders, charity, being polite etc. are a part of societal norms and thus a perception based on these will guide right behavior in people.

Perception should not be based on societal norms:

  • Social evils- Evils like Sati, child marriage etc. were once considered right by the society, however a humanitarian perspective will hold these tragic.
  • Slow evolution- Social norms take time to evolve and change. Slavery was once considered right as per the social conditions of ancient times, but increasing advent of technology and human rights made people change their perspective towards it.
  • No space for individuality- LGBT had to struggle for their rights despite being a part of the society, just because they were different from the generally acceptable norms.


Society plays a great role in development of perception of right or wrong. However, the latter should not be entirely based on the social norms and should have space for logical thinking in case the social values are against the human values.

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