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Common Usage, Custom, Tradition and Convention



Common usages are generally a number of exemplary attitude and behaviours qualified as concrete expectations of the society. Common usages, at the same time, represent foundation stones creating structure of any one of merit system. These System of  merits constitute a justification gradually to a special law system or a clause of Law in that system according to situation of the social structure.

Common usages incorporate functions arranging and designating relationships, behaviours, attitudes and manners between individual and individual, individual and family, individual and neighbours and relatives, individual and people and nation. Common usages which keep every member of the society continuously  under pressure ensure an individual to be in unison with any group, community or society by means of their obligatory enforcing or prohibitive sanctions. On the other hand various common usages that have been defined according to sex, age, class and occupations are vested with also the power to preserve , supervise, reinforce and control connections between them.     

To act against common usages is similar in some communities to act against a law; even, time to time they are kept over the laws and therefore individual is punished through hard and unforgivable attitude.


Customs, like common usages, have been arranging, managing and controlling a lot of social relationships. Customs are effective in orderly way of social life, in execution of rules. For example, meetings and farewells; meal and table arrangements; celebration and sanctification related with transition periods; procedures regarding to ask a girl’s hand in marriage, engagement and marriage; types of relationships among sexes, age groups, members of occupation; rules required to be observed at the time of salutation, asking for health; types of behaviours in relation with religious Bairams, seasons and important days; words to be uttered, attitude and behaviour to be exercised in such cases as “in mourning”, “in offering condolences” are included in the scope of customs.

Customs have been sourced and formed from various origins; among them type of living in the past, viewpoints for the World, interesting coincidences and events are significant. In a society in addition to customs covering all of society, there are also specific  customs concerning various professions, denominations, ethnic group, etc. There are groups of age and sex, religious leaders, managers of associations, heads of play group who ensure gradually that practical application of  customs become traditional,   assume task knowingly or unknowingly. While some customs are rather stationary and continuous, some of them are of a nature to change in time. One part of customs, keeping pace with the great changing waves of society, preserve their specifications to one extent, by complying with limited changes in their specialty and structures, the other part of them, just like live organisms, lose their effectiveness and liveliness in time and then they  cease to exist.


Traditions are, in general meaning, information, design, fruitless beliefs, type of life handing down from generation to generation; in broader meaning are intangible culture. In narrower meaning however they are viewpoints of a society on significant matters such as sacred and political affairs throughout generations. Traditions are divided into two,  verbal and written. Just like customs, but much powerful than them, they play important role in arranging and controlling social life. Traditions which are generally conservative in terms of their qualifications are effective on such social institutions as  family, law, religion and policy; science and art are rather less affected by traditions. Action by an individual in contrary to traditions of his/her group or community, in proportion to the degree of such opposition, is resulted in types of reaction varying from individual’s to be excommunication to  assault by the community, from despise to  mockery. There are variety of traditions that have been specified by law, just like customs. Law tries to designate traditions and sanctions to be given for actions made against them. Traditions generally administer much wider field than the laws.

Tradition Of Military Service

Tradition On Ritual Circumcision

Traditions In Bairam

Tradition In Giving A Name To A Baby

Death Tradition

Tradition On Woman After Childbird

Children's Games


Enforcement power of convention (görenek) is rather weak when compared  to common usage, custom, tradition. Obligation to obey under the requirement of common usage takes enforcement feature in custom and tradition, ability to be enforced in convention. In the most clear definition convention being the habit to perform something as it has been experienced covers those which are found necessary and proper as are the case in the other social habits. However, convention does not require them to be performed absolutely. Novelties and improvements in conformity with the group, society are added to such kinds of behaviour which have been practised for many years but not yet taken the form of custom. They may be either continuous or may be ceased to exist some time later.

Conventions, in arranging relationships necessitated by our daily life, have been lessening disagreements among individuals, and playing a defining role in facilitating social relations. They help relationships to go and proceed  well and orderly by defining how one should behave in visits to neighbours, patients, shopping, in getting in and out public transportation vehicles, in introductions and being introduced to somebody.