ALIGN's definition of norms
We look forward to initiating conversation among our community of practice on definitions of norms.
ALIGN defines social norms as the often implicit, informal rules that most people accept and abide by. They are influenced by belief systems, perceptions of what others expect and do, and sometimes by perceived rewards and sanctions. Norms are embedded in formal and informal institutions and produced and reproduced through social interaction. They change when sufficient people choose or are compelled to act in a different way and a new norm is established.
Gender norms are social norms of masculinity or femininity that express the expected behaviour of people of a particular gender, and often age, in a given social context. They often reflect and cement inequitable gender relations.