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Am I Normal?

Am I Normal?

Current price: $16.95
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2024
Ips - Profile Books
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days


Before the nineteenth century, the term normal was rarely ever associated with human behaviour. Normal was a term used in maths: people weren't normal - triangles were. But from the 1830s, this branch of science really took off across Europe and North America, with a proliferation of IQ tests, sex studies, a census of hallucinations - even a UK beauty map (which concluded the women in Aberdeen were "the most repellent"). This book tells the surprising history how the very notion of the normal came about, how it shaped us all, often while entrenching oppressive values. Sarah Chaney looks at why we're still asking the internet: Do I have a normal body? Is my sex life normal? Are my kids normal? And along the way, she challenges why we ever thought it might be a desirable thing to be.

About the Author

Sarah Chaney is a research fellow at the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions. She spent her teens and twenties furiously rebelling against the mainstream, whilst secretly longing to be normal. It wasn't until she passed thirty that she (mostly) stopped worrying about this mythical ideal. Alongside her research work she runs the public exhibitions and events programme at the Royal College of Nursing, occasionally writes for The Conversation and Psychology Today and reads far too much X-Men fanfic.