Normaalin genealogiaa

Genealogies of the Normal

The article presents the concept of the normal that is familiar from the biopolitical approach of Michel Foucault and others; some lines of its historical development are traced as well. Two contexts of the emergence of the concept are taken up: firstly, the collection of statistical information and its analysis in terms of probabilities, averages and variation; and secondly, the rise of clinical medicine with corresponding changes in the concept of life and the status of the distinction between the normal and the pathological. Finally, the intersection of these two contexts in the birth of a statistically oriented science of the social is discussed.

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