Redefinitions and the Politics of Normality


Cultural normality is an elusive phenomenon but a powerful force.

One meaning of this statement, the meaning I intend, hinges on the word normality.  And one meaning of this word is: anything common or regular.  But I infer a latent or perhaps more essential meaning from the standard definition.  I create a redefinition:

Normality—that which goes generally unnoticed.

Based on this interpretation, cultural normality eludes culture at large.  Therein lies its power; we cannot question the particulars of environment or behavior when those variables escape our attention.  Once a set of cultural values becomes normal, people with vested interests in those values can exercise power, structure society, and maintain the consent that brings order.

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