Exposure to Global Cultural Scripts Through Media and Attitudes Toward Violence Against Women

Jeffrey Swindle , University of Michigan

Interest in the influence of global cultural scripts about family life on ordinary people expanded in recent years. However, more precision is needed about the exact cultural content disseminated through particular mechanisms to individual people. I focus on the diffusion of global cultural scripts that decry violence against women as an immoral practice through the mechanism of media in the context of twenty-first century Malawi. I use multilevel logistic regression models to estimate the effects of people’s radio, television, and newspaper consumption on their level of attitudinal rejection of violence against women. I also draw upon unique data derived from my collection of all local mainstream newspaper articles that condemn violence against women and I exploit variation in the publication dates of these articles and the interview dates of survey respondents to perform a quasi-natural experiment of the exogenous treatment effects of these newspaper articles on individuals’ attitudes.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions