Enriching the perceived norms perspective of intergenerational cultural transmission: The roles of norm reference groups and norm adherence/deviance motive

Angela K y Leung*

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The functionalist account of subjective norms discussed by Morris and Liu (2015) illuminates important insights for enriching Tam’s (2015) perceived norms perspective to the understanding of intergenerational cultural transmission. According to Morris and Liu, norm-based thinking and behavior are intricately linked with the type of reference groups where norms are derived (peer vs. aspirational groups) and what individuals’ reactions norms induce (norm adherence vs.deviance). This account allows us to probe into an important implication that the perceived norms perspective can shed light on how intergenerational cultural transmission can enlarge parent–child differences as opposed to producing similarities. To the extent that parents who personally endorse peer group norms choose to socialize their children with the norms of the aspirational groups (vs. mainstream peers) adhered to by successful elites in the culture, intergenerational transmission has taken place albeit the parent–child value gap widens. To the extent that parents socialize their children with the value of norm deviance (vs. norm adherence), intergenerational transmission has taken place albeit it departs from the cultural preservation goal. It is reasonable to foresee that if considerable number of parents in a given culture opt for transmitting to their children aspirational group norms and a norm deviance motive, then intergenerational cultural transmission can act as an important source to fuel (vs. suppress) novelty and change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1356
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


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