Free United Nations Online Courses

Social Norms, Social Change

Social Norms, Social Change is an online course offered through a cooperative effort between the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The purpose of the course is to help students understand the differences between social norms, customs and descriptive norms, so that they have a working vocabulary and strong foundation for exploring aspects of social change. The course lasts for 4 weeks and includes the following modules: Interdependent & Independent Actions + Empirical Expectations, Normative Expectations + Personal Normative Beliefs, Conditional Preferences + Social Norms and Pluralistic Ignorance + Measuring Norms.

To complete all of the coursework for Social Norms, Social Change I, students will need to devote 2 to 3 hours to studying the course material every week. Lectures are presented as videos, and students are given 6 to 13 videos to watch each week. Four to seven readings are also assigned. Quizzes related to the course material are given weekly. Those who receive passing grades on every test will pass the course. A follow-up course called Social Norms, Social Change II is also offered online.

Social Norms, Social Change II is an online course provide by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States with the assistance of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The course is a follow-up to the class Social Norms, Social Change I, and students must complete the other course prior to enrollment. Lasting for 4 weeks, the course examines how social change occurs and what tools are available to activists who want to make a difference. Modules covered include Scripts and Schemas, Norm Creation, Norm Abandonment and Trendsetters and Social Change.

Students will need to spend 2 to 3 hours watching videos and reading short reading assignments in order to pass Social Norms, Social Change II. The number of readings and videos is similar to what is provided during the first half of the online class. Quizzes are given each week. Those who pass each quiz will receive a passing grade on the second half of the course.

Sign up here for Part 1

Sign up here for Part 2