Social norm change on the bird’s eye view

Social tradition is the actions and attitudes that are approved by the members of the community in a certain area. Actions are passed down from generation to generation and are the results of collective behavior that binds the society to each other.The basis of the interdependence of the society is social tradition, and its manifestations are mutual relations where the individuals, who are a part of the society, when they perform a task, take into account the result that the society expects (social expectation) and make a decision based on the rules and regulations. The purpose of the concept of social tradition is to understand the influence of the environment and social relationships of people in order to bring about a change in behavior. It is a rule or principle that distinguishes permitted and prohibited activities.Social Norms are actions and attitudes that are approved by members of the community in a certain area.These actions are the result of common characteristics that are transmitted from generation to generation and that bind the society to each other, forcing each part of the society to perform.The social control method not only encourages those who follow the expected behaviors of the society and punishes those who do not follow them; it also indicates how many of us respect the traditions by fearing this and seeking encouragement.People develop different social conventions about how to live in social interactions and how to respect each other; Individuals will also be subject to this. Among these, law, morality and social tradition are the main ones, and these three are the basic things that govern human actions and are the key issues that determine society’s thinking and actions.An individual who does not manage these three issues will be subjected to formal and informal punishments and pressures. By law to know the difference between ethics and social tradition, to understand their behavior and to understand a little bit why people respect them, law is a system that helps to protect the rights of citizens in a country and ensure the peace of the country’s law is issued by a higher-ranking regulatory authority or legal authority and may be a ban, decree, order, regulation, court decision, or usage guideline. A law is a regulatory authority that ensures its enforcement, as well as a system that imposes appropriate penalties on those who do not follow or comply with the law.Morality is a moral obligation that originates from the individual’s inner identity and is related to the individual’s freedom and desire. Some people buy for their morals or ethics because it gives them inner satisfaction.Others act because their conscience tells them that they have a duty, even if it does not give them the satisfaction of performing moral duties. An individual may implement these social obligations through interaction or thinking of their own interests.Consensus when encouraging an action or condemning the same action makes things easier to implement. On the contrary, when an action is approved by one framework and prohibited by another framework, there is a contradiction or conflict. Understanding this interaction is key to bringing about social change.There are issues that should be considered before and after the law is issued in order to reduce or avoid the conflict between law and social tradition. Before the law is passed, it is worth considering whether the passing of the law will make the activities more secretive or what can be done to avoid this.After the law is issued, it is necessary to carry out awareness activities in the society about the law and its purpose and to convince the society to be subject to the law voluntarily. One approach that can be useful in this regard is to remind the community that compliance with the law is itself a social tradition. For example, in our country, the saying “by law is God!” can be an example of this.In order to change the negative or harmful social traditions that harm women children and people with disability and push human rights, it is necessary to change the attitude and behavior of the individual. However, individual behavior is not determined only by the individual, but is the result of the influence of the society and customs in which the individual lives, as well as other environmental factors.Social science texts and experts explain that individual behavior is not determined by nature alone, but rather is the result of social interactions and connections starting from the family.In order to change the thinking, attitude and behavior of the individual regarding the universal use of person with disability, it is necessary to work side by side with the family, friends, educational and religious institutions, media and other social ties around the individual.In order to change the negative social tradition, it is necessary to change the attitude towards the event, to reach a joint decision to change the action, to take action jointly and cooperatively, to remove the existing action and replace it with a new one.No one is guaranteed to be disabled. In order to understand that this world we live in is a land where people with disability and people who have no guarantee of not being disabled are treated, we need to understand the experiences that are seen in our social life every day.It is said that there is no guarantee that no one will be disabled because disability can happen or happen in any situation, time and place and to any person from conception to death. Therefore, the issue of disability and people with disability is not only the issue of individuals and society, but also the common issue of the people of a country and the world as a whole.Among the main problems that need to be given special attention in order to understand disability and solve the problems of people with disability are the problems of attitude, communication, environmental and institutional problems.Empowerment of people with disability and ensuring their benefits will be difficult to do fully with the efforts of the government alone, so the active participation and practical response of non-governmental institutions, international organizations and disabled associations is very important.In order for the government to ensure the participation and benefit of person with disability in the long term, the negative attitudes in the society can be changed with positive thinking, the communication problems faced by person with disability can be quickly responded to, reasonable accommodation is implemented wherever they are engaged in providing and receiving services, and the inclusiveness of person with disability  is institutionalized in all sectors. In order to enable person with disability associations to become self-sufficient and benefit their members, the following universal monitoring and support will continue to be strengthened.Based on this, realizing that all human beings should be respected equally and without discrimination, it is expected from the government, non-governmental organizations and our entire society to respect the rights of the disabled like any other citizen and to make them equally accessible and benefit from public services and opportunities.

By Alemayehu Mamo

Reference: Negative Social Behavior Change Manual MOWCY/ – 2012



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