Norms in Motion:
The Dynamics of Social Norm Change

This page will be dedicated to the research project: Norms in Motion: The Dynamics of Social Norm Change. It will report the results of a study on the nature and dynamics of norms. The main question it asks is: how do norms of society adapt to changes in human knowledge, culture and values?

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569), The Procession to Calvary, 1564.

The painting above is Pieter Bruegel’s The Procession to Calvary  (1564). It represents the biblical episode of Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary, as if it were taking place in the Netherlands in Bruegel’s time. Back then, the country was under the Spanish monarchy. Among the villagers and the Spanish guards, you can see the figures of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints. All around, the myriad individuals are intent on various activities. The scene reflects the atmosphere of the time, of continuous movement and renovation. Bruegel’s era was one of deep social, cultural and religious transformation, in which the values and the norms of different social groups were rapidly changing while merging with one another. The painting tells us of the Flemish past, the origins and our times.