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Cultural Norms

Cultural norms are attitudes and behaviors that are typical within a social group. Cultural norms explain why individuals within a culture act and think in certain ways. This entry first gives examples of cultural norms and discusses the impact of cultural norms on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). It then discusses ways of changing the cultural norms related to the perception and treatment of individuals with ID/DD.

Every society has cultural norms, yet individuals within those societies may be unaware of their own cultural norms. This lack of awareness may be because cultural norms are so ingrained into the values we observe in others, learn in school, and are taught by our families that they are not noticed. A particular society’s cultural norms seem ...

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