Sociologists have traditionally tended to overstate the role of norms in explaining human behavior. Economists, on the other hand, have tended to downplay the role of norms. Increasingly, rational choice theorists have begun to explore the interaction between normative and instrumentally rational motivations. There are at least two major points at issue in these discussions. First, how does one conceptualize norms, especially in relation to rational action? Second, how does one go about studying the variation in the reliance on norms? Jon Elster's paper offers a controversial answer to the first question. Ralph Turner's paper offers some guidance for answering the second (1). Building on both Elster and Turner, I shall bring a somewhat different perspective to bear on both these issues.