wk3 - Juntao (Jenna) Yu Soci 101 002 Sept 9, 2009 Week 3...

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Juntao (Jenna) Yu Soci 101 002 Sept 9, 2009 Week 3 Reading Notes Horwitz, Allan V. 2008. “Normality”. Contexts . Vol 7 (No. 1): 70-71. o No standards to measure normality led to the use of statistical distributions as a way to measure the normal “trait” that’s most displayed in a group. o For ex. Intelligence test to compare the scores among people o Characteristics of the statistical conception of normality: it’s a quality of the distribution of a trait within a certain group rather than individuals; therefore it differs from group to group o Emile Durkheim: “the needs of specific social groups, rather than statistical forces, generate distribution of normality” (P.70) And “statistically normal (average) behavior becomes a norm/ideal standard of behavior so that frequent behaviors are seen as desirable behaviors” (P 71) o Problems with the statistical conception of normality: Statistical views often make abnormal events appear normal (ex. Psychological health of soldiers in WWII) Beliefs and social values in on country might consider something is normal and those in other countries might not. Can’t distinguish positive from negative deviations from normality No one is considered “normal” if there’s an increase in independently distributed traits o Normality as ideal/social norm—the normative conception instead of the statistical conception of normality; the difference b/tw 2 conceptions: “everyone or no one is any particular group can be normal” (p. 71) Normative conception measure the qualities of one without knowing anything
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wk3 - Juntao (Jenna) Yu Soci 101 002 Sept 9, 2009 Week 3...

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