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How Collective Norms Can Produce or Mediate Climates of Conflict

by CIFAR Sep 19 / 13
A “climate of conflict” persists when conflict is so widespread and enduring that it resists change.

Recent research suggests that climates of conflict in secondary schools are perpetuated by students’ perceptions of what their peers believe to be appropriate or desirable behaviour--in other words, their perception of the school's collective norms. The best way to shift a climate of conflict is to address students’ perceptions of collective norms. This talk describes a recent strategy to map the social network of schools within one American state to understand the spread of social norms, and the capacity for a community to shift its climate.

A presentation by CIFAR Fellow Elizabeth Levy Paluck (Princeton University) at CIFAR's Building Better Lives & Communities symposium.