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Apr. 3rd, 2005 | 11:01 pm
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posted by: lolweasel in philobate

so what makes a person "weird?" well, obviously, wierdness is a social construct... so where does this social construct come from? from whence comes our need to label people who stand out as exceptional (whether positively or negatively)?

- cypress

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mouse fitzgerald

Re: I've been educated in statistics and philosophy of language, which explains a lot...

from: lolweasel
date: Apr. 4th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
entry

it would almost seem, however, that this bellcurve (or many aspects of it, anyway), is decided simply on the "positive" traits of those who consider themselves normal or average. there's almost an idealization about it.

the ideal normal for families, for example (though it depends on the society), could be said to be something like two married parents, a son, a daughter. the ideal normal for emotions? happy eighty-to-ninety-ish percent of the time. intermittent sadness, about which we ought to all be very honest and open to those close to us. and perhaps, for some of a certain age (past dealing with hormones and changing chemical balances and the like), this makes perfect sense, but it is still the ideal norm for those of a lesser age (adolescence, obviously), when chemicals are still being strange and figuring themselves out in the body.

and many perceptions of normal are in fact delusions and idealizations that have little-to-no basis in reality whatsoever.

so is normal perhaps a perception of, if not how things are for the majority, rather, how the majority wants normal to be.

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Emily

Re: I've been educated in statistics and philosophy of language, which explains a lot...

from: sometimeafter
date: Apr. 4th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
entry

relating this to the social issue: if a gay person is openly gay and goes on and on about gay rights is labelled weird. on the other hand, if a devout right-wing catholic christian is completely against gays and is always making remarks about gays and going on about the way a family "should" be, they will also be labelled as weird. however, not so much. so i agree about the one side or the other but i must point out it is not a perfect bell curve. it is usually leaning to one side, one very far end being weird and the other end of course also being weird just not so much. *shrug* i don't know i guess i'm just kind of babbling.

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mouse fitzgerald

Re: I've been educated in statistics and philosophy of language, which explains a lot...

from: lolweasel
date: Apr. 6th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
entry

it does depend on who the labelling is left up to.

being gay is still often more-or-less socially unacceptable and "weird" because of a majority of heterosexuals. being exceedingly religious and prejudiced is also not in the majority, so those who share those opinions receive their label for much the same reason.

however, being somewhat prejudiced (under a facade of reasonable righteousness) and moderately religious are both rather common and thusly quite acceptable.

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