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The Resource Perfectly average : the pursuit of normality in postwar America, Anna G. Creadick, (electronic resource)

Perfectly average : the pursuit of normality in postwar America, Anna G. Creadick, (electronic resource)

Label
Perfectly average : the pursuit of normality in postwar America
Title
Perfectly average
Title remainder
the pursuit of normality in postwar America
Statement of responsibility
Anna G. Creadick
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
At the end of World War II, many Americans longed for a return to a more normal way of life after decades of depression and war. In fact, between 1945 and 1963 the idea of "normality" circulated as a keyword in almost every aspect of American culture. But what did this term really mean? What were its parameters? Whom did it propose to include and exclude? In this work the author investigates how and why "normality" reemerged as a potent homogenizing category in postwar America. Working with scientific studies, material culture, literary texts, film, fashion, and the mass media, she charts the pursuit of the "normal" through thematic chapters on the body, character, class, sexuality, and community. She examines such evidence as the "Norm and Norma" models produced during the war by sexologists and anthropologists, statistical composites of "normal" American bodies. In 1945, as thousands of Ohio women signed up for a Norma Look-Alike contest. A "Harvard Study of Normal Men" sought to define the typical American male according to specific criteria, from body shape to upbringing to blood pressure. By the early 1950s, the "man in the gray flannel suit" had come to symbolize what some regarded as the stultifying sameness of the "normalized" middle class. Meanwhile, novels such as From Here to Eternity and Peyton Place both supported and challenged normative ideas about gender, race, and sexuality, even as they worked to critique the postwar culture of surveillance, watching and being watched, through which normalizing power functioned. As efforts to define normality became increasingly personal, the tensions embedded in its binary logic multiplied: Was "normal" descriptive of an average or prescriptive of an ideal? In the end, the author shows that a variety of statistics, assumptions, and aspirations converged to recast "normality" not as something innate or inborn, but rather as a quality to be actively pursued, a standard at once highly seductive and impossible to achieve because it required becoming perfectly average
Member of
Cataloging source
OCLCE
Government publication
government publication of a state province territory dependency etc
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • dictionaries
  • bibliography
Series statement
Culture, politics, and the Cold War
Perfectly average : the pursuit of normality in postwar America, Anna G. Creadick, (electronic resource)
Label
Perfectly average : the pursuit of normality in postwar America, Anna G. Creadick, (electronic resource)
Link
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt5vk21j
Publication
Related Contributor
Related Location
Related Agents
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Antecedent source
file reproduced from original
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction : situation normal -- Model bodies, normal curves -- Normalizing the nation : the study of American character -- Passing for normal : fashioning a postwar middle class -- From queer to eternity : normalizing heterosexuality in fact and fiction -- Picture windows and Peyton Place : exposing normality in postwar communities -- Conclusion : home, normal home
http://library.link/vocab/cover_art
https://contentcafe2.btol.com/ContentCafe/Jacket.aspx?Return=1&Type=S&Value=9781613760147&userID=ebsco-test&password=ebsco-test
Dimensions
unknown
http://library.link/vocab/discovery_link
{'f': 'http://opac.lib.rpi.edu/record=b4337571'}
Extent
1 online resource (xii, 191 pages)
File format
one file format
Form of item
online
Isbn
9781613760147
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
c
Other physical details
illustrations.
Specific material designation
remote

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