Creating Norms


Key Questions

  • Who is interacting with whom (or what), how are they interacting, and towards what end?
  • Who sets the "unwritten" rules of interaction and for whom?
  • What interactions do "unwritten rules" enable and disable?

Communities, movements, and institutions emerge when individuals become aware of sharing intentions, goals, and practices as a result of repeated interaction. For example, individual girls discussing strategies for continuing their education in a certain context might eventually come to see themselves as part of a movement for education equality. This group-awareness confers authority on the group's normative voices--the voices that maintain coherent intentions, goals, and practices--and asserts a voice for the entire group in larger societal conversations. Through our research, we try to gain a better understanding of the nature of emerging communities, both as groups of individuals and as collective agents in larger societal endeavors.