Formal norms are written down and given a specific punishment for violation. The best example of this is laws. If they are broken, there is a specific guideline to how you are punished.
Informal norms are unwritten standards, where when broken, violators are given different punishments. For example people with their children, when a child receives a D on their report card, some parents view that as a disappointment and the child will get disciplined for that, to other parents, they are just proud that their kid didn’t receive a F.
Folkways are informal norms that can be violated but will probably not have serious consequences. The book gives examples of hygiene, which is a perfect example of this. If a person chooses not to keep up on their hygiene, they technically won’t be breaking any laws, but they will have to deal with the consequences of nobody wanting to be around them.
Mores are norms that are violated that tend to have stronger consequences. Like in the example above, with the hygiene, at most places of employment you have to be fresh and clean for work. Employers will fire you due to lack of hygiene.
Taboos are strong violations that people don’t want to talk about. The biggest taboo is sex, especially teenage sex. This is 2014 people live together now before marriage. And most adults living together are having sex. It’s just natural. But many religious people frown upon it, an especially don’t want to discuss it, which is why it will continue to be a taboo subject.
Laws are formal norms. They are