Beside Oneself By Judith Butler Summary Essay

Beside Oneself By Judith Butler Summary Essay

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Judith Butler, in her essay entitled “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy” from Undoing Gender, explains how there are restrictive norms regarding gender and sexuality. She speaks about how society creates norms that people should follow. If one does not follow these norms, they are like the outcasts of society, the people who do not fit in. Butler is not the only person who has knowledge regarding social norms, but various other people, like authors, psychologists, and teachers, also have a clear understanding of social norms and the effects of social norms. There are various types of social norms, which are not only transmitted from person to person or time period to time period, but have an importance and several consequences in everyday life.
Social norms are typically defined as rules or laws of society. Francois Ewald, a French historian and researcher, in his journal article entitled “Norms, Discipline, and the Law,” takes this definition a bit further when he explains what social norms are. He says, “Norms can no longer stand simply as another name for rule, rather it comes to designate both a particular variety of rules and a way of producing them and, perhaps most significantly of all, a principle of valorization… the norm now refers to the play of oppositions between the normal and the abnormal or pathological (140). Yes, norms are rules that society creates, but they are much more than that. Social norms is a large set of rules, in which people must follow in order to be acceptable to society. This set ranges from rules regarding how one should dress, to how one should parent, to how one should react in situations. Social norms also create a principle of how things, people, place, etc. should be valued. ...


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...haos. Without social norms, most people would have different thoughts about all aspects of life. Therefore, it would be unrealistic for people to interact and communicate successfully. It would be difficult to agree and make sound decisions. Social norms create a stable country, where people are able to interact effectively and comfortably. Also, without social norms there wouldn’t be much for groups of people. Every person would be so different, that there wouldn’t be any groups. It would be extremely difficult to create groups when every person had different expectations and rules in mind. With social norms, people share understanding on various aspects of life. People share understanding on things like how to dress, how to react in situations, and what to say in situations. Overall, social norms significantly impact society and how people live in many, many ways.

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