The Mask of Normalcy: Social Conformity and its Ambiguities (Hardback)
  • The Mask of Normalcy: Social Conformity and its Ambiguities (Hardback)
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The Mask of Normalcy: Social Conformity and its Ambiguities (Hardback)

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£80.99
Hardback 216 Pages / Published: 30/03/2014
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Psychologists view well-adjusted behaviour as conformity-the ability to navigate relationships and events within a framework of societal rules and regulations. George Serban argues that a better test is how well an individual is able to navigate adverse situations by handling conformity's ambiguities and incongruities. He uses clinical findings and content analysis to explore the interface between social conformity and nonconformist behaviours.

The definition of the normal is itself problematic, since society's expectations are sometimes controversial, arbitrary, or equivocal. As a result, people who have problems coping with social conformity choose between degrees of nonconformity or hiding under what Serban calls a "mask of normalcy." Further complicating matters is that some nonconformist attitudes are now seen as normal, supported by governmental policies tacitly favouring moral relativism. A multicultural society is crisscrossed by shades of controversial values and mores. New social codes of "correct" conduct blur the distinction between true and false, right and wrong; and social conflict simmers as a result.

What society perceives as well adjusted may even change within a society over time, depending on prevailing social values. Some noticeable variations have been within male-female relationships and sexual morality. Serban ultimately concludes that those who have learned how to manipulate social situations are viewed as well adjusted. Those who have not are seen as struggling or maladjusted.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9781412852692
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"With The Mask of Normalcy, Dr. Serban has elucidated contemporary difficulties facing individuals in our culture in their quest to adapt and adjust to social demands in an era of moral relativism. As an individual, I can relate to the frustration of living in a society in which people in power, be they in politics, the law, or finances, too often are corrupt in their pursuit of power and wealth, and how all too often they are accepted as normal members of society while dishonestly exploiting others until, and if, they go too far and their practices cannot be ignored. Dr. Serban impressively reviews the plethora of recent and not so recent cases of individuals who either have benefitted or been ruined in the current environment of moral relativism.

As a psychiatrist, I particularly liked Dr. Serban's detailed examination of personality development and how it is deformed in sociopathy and psychopathy. In psychiatry today, where there is an emphasis to expeditiously diagnose and treat patients, there is often little time to get to know those that we treat and to understand their personalities and pressures that culture places on them. Too bad that personality development has been deemphasized in psychiatric practice and training. Psychiatrists reading this book will think about Dr. Serban's The Mask of Normalcy and how it applies to their patients, be they the exploited or exploiters. They and other readers will be enriched in their understanding of our moral relativism and the tensions our culture places on individuals wanting to adjust."

--Richard Perry, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU Medical School


"[A] book any college-level sociology student will find specific and intriguing."

--The Bookwatch

"With The Mask of Normalcy, Dr. Serban has elucidated contemporary difficulties facing individuals in our culture in their quest to adapt and adjust to social demands in an era of moral relativism. As an individual, I can relate to the frustration of living in a society in which people in power, be they in politics, the law, or finances, too often are corrupt in their pursuit of power and wealth, and how all too often they are accepted as normal members of society while dishonestly exploiting others until, and if, they go too far and their practices cannot be ignored. Dr. Serban impressively reviews the plethora of recent and not so recent cases of individuals who either have benefitted or been ruined in the current environment of moral relativism.

As a psychiatrist, I particularly liked Dr. Serban's detailed examination of personality development and how it is deformed in sociopathy and psychopathy. In psychiatry today, where there is an emphasis to expeditiously diagnose and treat patients, there is often little time to get to know those that we treat and to understand their personalities and pressures that culture places on them. Too bad that personality development has been deemphasized in psychiatric practice and training. Psychiatrists reading this book will think about Dr. Serban's The Mask of Normalcy and how it applies to their patients, be they the exploited or exploiters. They and other readers will be enriched in their understanding of our moral relativism and the tensions our culture places on individuals wanting to adjust."

--Richard Perry, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU Medical School


"[A] book any college-level sociology student will find specific and intriguing."

--The Bookwatch

"With The Mask of Normalcy, Dr. Serban has elucidated contemporary difficulties facing individuals in our culture in their quest to adapt and adjust to social demands in an era of moral relativism. As an individual, I can relate to the frustration of living in a society in which people in power, be they in politics, the law, or finances, too often are corrupt in their pursuit of power and wealth, and how all too often they are accepted as normal members of society while dishonestly exploiting others until, and if, they go too far and their practices cannot be ignored. Dr. Serban impressively reviews the plethora of recent and not so recent cases of individuals who either have benefitted or been ruined in the current environment of moral relativism.

As a psychiatrist, I particularly liked Dr. Serban's detailed examination of personality development and how it is deformed in sociopathy and psychopathy. In psychiatry today, where there is an emphasis to expeditiously diagnose and treat patients, there is often little time to get to know those that we treat and to understand their personalities and pressures that culture places on them. Too bad that personality development has been deemphasized in psychiatric practice and training. Psychiatrists reading this book will think about Dr. Serban's The Mask of Normalcy and how it applies to their patients, be they the exploited or exploiters. They and other readers will be enriched in their understanding of our moral relativism and the tensions our culture places on individuals wanting to adjust."

--Richard Perry, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU Medical School


-[A] book any college-level sociology student will find specific and intriguing.-

--The Bookwatch

-With The Mask of Normalcy, Dr. Serban has elucidated contemporary difficulties facing individuals in our culture in their quest to adapt and adjust to social demands in an era of moral relativism. As an individual, I can relate to the frustration of living in a society in which people in power, be they in politics, the law, or finances, too often are corrupt in their pursuit of power and wealth, and how all too often they are accepted as normal members of society while dishonestly exploiting others until, and if, they go too far and their practices cannot be ignored. Dr. Serban impressively reviews the plethora of recent and not so recent cases of individuals who either have benefitted or been ruined in the current environment of moral relativism.

As a psychiatrist, I particularly liked Dr. Serban's detailed examination of personality development and how it is deformed in sociopathy and psychopathy. In psychiatry today, where there is an emphasis to expeditiously diagnose and treat patients, there is often little time to get to know those that we treat and to understand their personalities and pressures that culture places on them. Too bad that personality development has been deemphasized in psychiatric practice and training. Psychiatrists reading this book will think about Dr. Serban's The Mask of Normalcy and how it applies to their patients, be they the exploited or exploiters. They and other readers will be enriched in their understanding of our moral relativism and the tensions our culture places on individuals wanting to adjust.-

--Richard Perry, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU Medical School

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