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The contemporary life of norms: lives, spaces and degrees

Date: 31 January 2012 Time: 01.00-04.00pm

Venue: FASS Meeting Room 2, FASS Building

Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University

  • Stephen Healy (UNSW), 'Atmospheres of Consumption: affect, space and the assembly of docile shoppers'
  • Celia Roberts (Lancaster), 'Scaling normal sexual development: Tanner and his extraordinary child'
  • Claire Waterton (Lancaster), 'Barcoding nature: 'technopreneurial' norms for knowledge of life'

Normalisation, according to Foucault, created a 'whole range of degrees of normality indicating membership of a homogeneous social body but also playing a part in classification, hierarchization and the distribution of rank' (1977:184). This mini-workshop explores different takes on contemporary lives, spaces and degrees in terms of techniques, practices and forms of thought concerning norms. The papers address topics - air-conditioning, sexual development in puberty, and biological species identification - in which normality has become problematic, in which the question of degrees of normality and membership are unsettled, and in which norms of growth, classification and ordering shift. The workshop will discuss how in various domains norms, normality and normalization are significantly re-done or undone. It will investigate the affective, material, pragmatic life of norms, as well as their abstraction, diagrammatics and mediations.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Centre for Science Studies, Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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