Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist) (Hardback)
  • Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist) (Hardback)
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Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist) (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 14/07/2022
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Waterstones Says

By turns hugely entertaining and deeply shocking, Chaney's exhilarating account of society's fixation with 'normality' charts an eccentric path from colonial obsession to the all-pervasive anxieties engendered by the internet.

A deep dive into the strange science of the 'Normal', and the origins of an anxiety-ridden modern obsession.

Before the nineteenth century, the term normal was rarely ever associated with human behaviour. Normal was a term used in maths, for right angles. People weren't normal; triangles were. But from the 1830s, this strange 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, colonialist 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.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788162456
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 515 g
Dimensions: 218 x 144 x 32 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

Eureka! Sarah Chaney's excellent Am I Normal? is one of those rare pop-science books that make you look at the whole world differently - Tim Smith-Laing, The Daily Telegraph,

Captivating - Book of the Day, Guardian

Riveting ... The moral of the story, indeed of this engaging book, is that instead of ruminating endlessly on the worried (and unanswerable) question Am I Normal?, we should be asking ourselves instead whether normal even exists and why, quite frankly, anyone cares - Mail on Sunday,

Compelling, highly readable ... Encompassing everything from sex surveys to baby weight, beauty standards to sexuality, this is a brilliantly engaging work of popular science - Observer

Sarah Chaney charts, fascinatingly, [a] progressive creep of the idea of the "normal" into the heart of society... shocking and salutary - The Times

This fascinating read will change the way we think about what is normal - Buzz

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