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Introduction: Through the Prism of the Social Standards
The aspect of norm and normative in the modern society has become a considerably questionable issue because of the culture diversity on the one hand and the freedom of self-expression on the other one.
Therefore, I would like to bring into discussion the manner in which Butler interpreted the idea of norm and normality and the way author related it to power in her work (Butler, p. iii, para. 2).
Analyzing the methods the author used to draw the line between the normal and the abnormal, as well as to determine the impact which the power had on people’s judgments concerning what is normal and what is not, one can possibly realize that there is a distinct connection between Butler’s and Foucault’s ways of reasoning and see what choices Butler makes.
Therefore, the question is, whether the social norms as interpreted by the genealogical concepts can be shaped and changed, as well as how they can be categorized in the society.
In addition, I find it important to learn whether what is considered a norm is predetermined by the natural or the social aspects.
Concerning the Methods: The Chosen Pathway
Obviously relating to the archaeological concept developed by Foucault, Butler’s idea concerning the norms as the power that makes people who deviate from the “norm” to be “misrecognized or remain unrecognizable precisely because they exist at the limits of established norms for thinking embodiment and even personhood” (p. iii) touches upon the problem of what normality is and by what factors the given concept is shaped.
It is obvious that Butler comprises the idea of the “normality” shaped by Foucault, yet the fact that the author bases the issue of normality on the “powerful logics” (Butler, p. iii) of the humankind raises the question whether.
Butler presupposes that the social values and standards can be changed by the “majority power.” Moreover, since Butler recognizes the “dynamics of power” (Butler, p. iii), I would like to know if Butler actually admits that the idea of “normality” can shape and change, bringing what used to be the lowest common denominator of morality to the golden standard of the future.
On the Values: Foucault’s Vision, Butler’s Interpretation
When claiming that structuralism helps to understand and recognize the forms of gender that are considered less possible than the others, as well as why they are, Butler actually gives reasons to believe that the archaeological structure of the society can change from a certain model of behavior to diametrically opposite.
Thus, it is reasonable to suppose that Butler also touches upon Foucault’s concept of “ditto” in the given excerpt. Expanding Foucault’s theory, Butler conveys the idea that the aspects of power and normality are closely intertwined in the society.
Conclusion: A Norm Stretched Beyond Its Boundaries
Therefore, it must be admitted that the essence of a norm shapes together with the standards of the epoch. The latter are, in their turn, shaped and enhanced by the power of the majority mentioned by Foucault.
Hence, I believe that the standard and what is thought to be “unbelievable” are bound to co-exist in the society, since the former and the latter can switch places according to the power that is currently shaping the society behavior model.
Butler, Judith. Performativity, Precarity and Sexual Politics. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 2009. Print.