Culture and social norms: Behavioral decisions about grassland conservation among ethnically Tibetan pastoralists

Maria Knight Lapinski, Rain Wuyu Liu, John M. Kerr, Jinhua Zhao, Tsering Bum, Zhi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conceptions of what is typical (descriptive norms) and socially appropriate (injunctive norms) are constrained by culture. Based on interviews with Tibetan pastoralists in Western China, we examine social norms and behaviors associated with managing domesticated animals. We describe the ways that behavioral decisions are influenced by interpersonal communication and observation of norms, along with ecological, market, and policy forces. Explicit communication about norms occurs primarily under problematic conditions, in times of change or policy introduction. Findings reinforce the relevance of understanding the culturally bound dimensions of social norms and the need to ground theory and research on social influence in intercultural communication concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of International and Intercultural Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conservation decisions
  • explicit and implicit verbal communication
  • injunctive and descriptive social norms
  • Tibetan populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication

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