Histories of the Normal and the Abnormal: Social and Cultural Histories of Norms and Normativity

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Routledge, Sep 27, 2006 - History - 304 pages

This fascinating volume tackles the history of the terms 'normal' and 'abnormal'. Originally meaning 'as occurring in nature', normality has taken on significant cultural gravitas and this book recognizes and explores that fact.

The essays engage with the concepts of the normal and the abnormal from the perspectives of a variety of academic disciplines – ranging from art history to social history of medicine, literature, and science studies to sociology and cultural anthropology. The contributors use as their conceptual anchors the works of moral and political philosophers such as Canguilhem, Foucault and Hacking, as well as the ideas put forward by sociologists including Durkheim and Illich.

With contributions from a range of scholars across differing disciplines, this book will have a broad appeal to students in many areas of history.

 

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Contents

Reflections on norms and normativity
1
Questioning the representation of the court dwarf in Hapsburg Spain
26
The case of conjoined twins in the nineteenth century
53
Character characters and curiosities in Britain c17601900
73
Physiognomic norms and the notion of civic usefulness from Lavater to Galton
101
Ugliness and abnormality in caricatures of Monsieur Mayeux
122
Tailoring and the normal body in nineteenthcentury France
142
British women contesting the concept of the maleasnorm 18701930
165
William Jamess spiritual crisis
183
The curious case of child adoption
205
From patients values to physicians standards
225
The normalisation of hypertension c19402000
245
Why every piazza needs its own madman
262
Subject index
282
Name index
285
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