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When Norms CollideLocal Responses to Activism against Female Genital Mutilation and Early Marriage$
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Karisa Cloward

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274917

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190274917.001.0001

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Facilitating Local Primary Behavior Change

Facilitating Local Primary Behavior Change

(p.173) Chapter 6 Facilitating Local Primary Behavior Change
When Norms Collide

Karisa Cloward

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the barriers to individual behavior change and the diffusion of behavior change through communities. It shows that because of the relatively low salience of the local norm supporting early marriage, individual behavior change closely tracks attitude change. However, the high salience of the local norm supporting FGM means that individual behavior change lags significantly behind attitude change. Because of FGM’s high local salience, behavior change is most likely to occur where individuals are able to somehow mitigate the high barriers to defection—the chapter demonstrates that exposure to noncircumcising ethnic groups is associated with individual behavior change in communities that have experienced minimal norm change, and that elite opposition to FGM is associated with individual behavior change in communities that are at both early and advanced stages of transition.

Keywords:   international norm, local norm, behavior change, female genital mutilation, FGM, early marriage, salience, defection, diffusion

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