Addressing Harmful Social Norms: At Home and Abroad
Harmful social norms can lead to issues such as child marriage, child labor, and child trafficking. In this session, we will explore how social norms in the US and abroad can have negative impacts on children and societies. This will include an interactive portion to discuss the origins of norms, the pervasiveness of them in communities, and examples of how they’ve been harmful. For social norms occurring in countries globally, we will look at how UNICEF has approached these norms using case studies from specific countries.
The session will conclude with a hands-on brainstorming portion to identify effective ways that governments, NGOs, and citizens can challenge these harmful norms in socially conscious ways.
Outline/structure of the Session
- Overview of social norms
- How UNICEF Defines social norms
- Overview of harmful social norms and how they can be addressed
- Examples of social norms that exist today: Child Labor, Child Marriage, Glorification of Pimping, and Objectification and Sexualization in the Media
- Group Activity
- Groups will receive worksheets with an overview of the issue, examples of the issue, implications of this harmful social norm, strategies that existing organizations (in the US or abroad) are using to address them, and finally – a prompt for participants to brainstorm how we can address these issues.
- Wrap Up
- Identify four social norms - two abroad and two in the US - that are harmful to children and communities
- Understand why these are harmful and the implications of these norms
- Identify effective ways that governments, NGOs, and individuals can combat and challenge these harmful norms
Professionals, students, and community members can all benefit