UM Ph.D. Candidate Rachel Pierotti is the author of a paper that has just been published in the April 2013 edition of the American Sociological Review. This paper is titled "Increasing Rejection of Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence of Global Cultural Diffusion."
This study extends existing world society research on ideational diffusion by going beyond examinations of national policy change to investigate the spread of ideas among nonelite individuals. Specifically, I test whether recent trends in women’s attitudes about intimate partner violence are converging toward global cultural scripts. Results suggest that global norms regarding violence against women are reaching citizens worldwide, including in some of the least privileged parts of the globe. During the first decade of the 2000s, women in 23 of the 26 countries studied became more likely to reject intimate partner violence. Structural socioeconomic or demographic changes, such as urbanization, rising educational attainment, increasing media access, and cohort replacement, fail to explain the majority of the observed trend. Rather, women of all ages and social locations became less likely to accept justifications for intimate partner violence. The near uniformity of the trend and speed of the change in attitudes about intimate partner violence suggest that global cultural diffusion has played an important role.