Conclusion: Lessons Drawn from Norm Contestation’s Insights
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This study demonstrates how a norm contestation framework can provide useful insights to norm-related behavior. In doing so, it argues that this framework can supplement explanations offered by other frameworks or step in when their theoretical mechanisms unsatisfactorily help us understand empirical puzzles. The norm contestation framework can offer this assistance because it appreciates norms’ dynamism. Rather than viewing norms as “things” whose content remains unchanged, norm contestation’s use of the logics of appropriateness, contestedness, and practicality enables it to notice how different social contexts contribute to variations in how actors interpret norms, even long-established, foundational norms. As Antje Wiener (2004: 190), puts it, “analysis of social practices in context provide additional leverage when it comes to explaining cases that otherwise seem puzzling…” These variations in interpretations are then employed to help explain differences in norm-related behavior.
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