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The Normal and the Abnormal: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Norms and Deviations
Manchester, July 2002


"The Normal and the Abnormal: historical and
cultural perspectives on norms and deviations"

Two-day Research Symposium, Manchester, 10-11 July 2002


How are norms established and defined?  To what extent do historical and cultural
contexts play a part in the construction of norms and deviance?

This conference will address questions about the definition and the demarkation of
norms and deviance in relation to social, historical and cultural factors.

Core issues will include:

* Normal medicine - statistical, biological, cultural and moral norms; orthodox
and heterodox medicine

* The normal body - the perfect body and disability; the healthy and the diseased
body; degeneration; the normal body and fascism; normalizing the devinat body
(sexual surgery, plastic surgery)

* The normal mind - rationality and madness; other minds and other rationalities;
normal personality and personality 'disorders'

* The racialised body and mind - normal and pathological races; whiteness as norm
and whiteness as race

* The gendered body and mind - the normal male/female

* Normal sexuality - heterosexuality as norm, homosexuality as gender deviation,
'bad' sex, 'unnatural' sex

* Middle-class norms

* Liberal democracy and 'the evil' (Holocaust, ethnic cleansing)

* Normative religion - religion and belief; Christianity and Islam

* Cultural norms and deviations - globalisation ; Western norms and local
traditions; the decline of the West; Western development/modernization as norm and

* Scientific norms - normal science, bad science, heterodox science; paradigm

If you would like to present a paper on any of the above issues and/or if you
would like to receive further details, please contact:

Dr Chandak Sengoopta
Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine/Centre for the History of
Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester,
Mathematics Tower, Manchester M13 9PL, UK, E-mail:


Dr Waltraud Ernst,
Department of History,
University of Southampton,
Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK