A Folkway is a sociological term indicating a way of living, thinking, and acting in a cultural group. The collection of patterns are built up without conscious design and serve as a guide to proper conduct. Folkways cover attitudes towards a variety of experiences, in effect, defining acceptable baseline behavior and unacceptable, strange, or deviant behavior.
Folkways are not set in stone and they evolve along with their associated societies and civilizations. As cultures change, so do societies and their folkways. When societies change more quickly than societies possess tolerance, revolutions occur and many undesired effects evidences as periods of extended instability.
Folkways are enforced by gentle social pressure, an expectation of acceptable social behavior. There are stronger methods of enforcing the cultural mores or cultural universals including moral codes, legal systems, or religious or secular taboos.
A cultural universal is a set of cultural norms, features of a culture, which are universal across many cultures. These universal behaviors form the basis for many of connections between what would otherwise be alien cultures.
The general standard of behavior and expectations within Charted Space that is probably most visible within the confines of a starport. The etiquette and expectations demonstrated are formed from the cultural universals across the many races that travel the stars.
Major Race Folkways Overview
Some sophonts species have developed interesting cultural adaptations to the civilizational cycle including the following:
The Vargr have such a love of freedom and independence that their society in the Vargr Extents is widely considered to be the most flexibly tolerant and adaptable of the major race supra-polities. Vargr society is a constantly evolving and experimenting with new folkways. The Julian Protectorate is a result of this societal pressure cooker that bodes well for the future of interspecies relations.
The Hivers have developed numerous interesting folkways that allow the Hive Federation to abrogate periods of instability during periods of regime change and revolution. Their government strays furthest from interstellar expectations for a Supra-polity. The Hivers are also Panspeciests, who value all life and strongly believe in Uplift and the gentle fostering and development of all intelligent lifeforms.
The Aslan place a premium on maintaining a sense of competition and societal vigor. Their Tlaukhu institution and Aslan Hierate government coupled with the Aslan Clan system have helped the Aslan to remain a competitive force in Charted Space where many other civilizations have stagnated or died out altogether. The Aslan philosophy of Violent Monoculturism underlies their societal goals.
Both the Droyne and Zhodani are known for societal stability and the psionic nature of their civilizations. Both societies experience vastly less violence and internal strife when compared to the other major races.
The Terrans are known for their incredible diversity, aggression, and general societal vigor. The Terrans created a civilization with a bewildering number of cultures, languages, and folkways. That is why the intolerance of the Solomani Confederation remains so ironic.
The Vilani, like the Zhodani, value stability in their society but do so without the psionic interverntion. And like the Zhodani this gives them a single-minded purpose capable of setting multigenerational goals and keeping them. It is by no coincidence that the first megacorporations were Vilani.
The K'kree are such successful societal stewards that even the Droyne and Zhodani sometimes marvel at the level of community and social cohesion that the K'kree achieve. It comes at a cost as does any social mechanism, but the K'kree can marshal resources as no other major race can. The K'kree are arguably the preeminent terraformers of Charted Space.
Endgame & Societal Goals
The polities of Charted Space strive to achieve a state of Aeonic Stability, in which interstellar relations and peace among the many sophont species will achieve a state of perpetual prosperity and stability.
An increasing number of interstellar societies within Charted Space have begun discussing a hypothetical Singularity.
References & Contributors (Sources)
- Author: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science