From ArticleWorld

A normative statement is one that contains, implicitly or explicitly, a prescription or perceived norm, a should, ought, right or wrong. In contrast, many statements are descriptive or explanatory, outlining or detailing a perception, theory, belief or opinion. The feminist, race, and gender theory, and deconstruction schools of thought, among others, pay particular attention to normative statements and what they imply or propagate about society and its rules or standards, as well as to statements and images that conceal, mystify, or reify their normative nature.

Kinds of normativity

Statements about common sense, normal sexual preferences, and cultural or family values are considered normative. More specific normative judgments are found in assessments about lower economic status that contain a moral judgment about the laziness or diligence of members of an ethnic group. Another often-cited example is media images of workplace superiors as 'normally' heterosexual white or light-skinned males, with all other possibilities the anomaly or exception. Generally normative utterances work to reinforce social rules, among which are also those that preserve certain hierarchies or hegemony, and encourage homogeneity. Normativity is commonly discussed in analyzing the dominance of the Western canon, and heteronormativity.

Ratinality, emotion, and prescription

Normative statements are also of considerable interest to philosophers of language, rationality, and reason. The practical reason of Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and Jürgen Habermas argues in favor of rationally explicable and defensible sets of rules, which therefore means that normative statements can be made in a rational framework. Logical positivists such as A.J. Ayer and Karl Popper argue the opposite, that no statements is true in terms of rationality if it cannot be verified empirically. The verifiable theory of meaning argues that any statement for which there is no corresponding empirical fact, is only an expression of emotion, and that for this reason many normative statements and value judgments do not in fact have the authority they lay claim to.

Standards and norma

Normative statements are used as institutionalized steps in the prescription of standards for production, quality control or management. Products and processes must comply with these in order to be approved or certified.