Empire of Normality

Robert Chapman


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Pluto Press
20 November 2023
ISBN: 9780745348667
224 pages

From the publisher

The neurodiversity movement suggests that it takes all kinds of minds for society to function. Instead of accepting their place as inferior, the divergent are reforging their position as 'neurominorities', and are organising in ever greater numbers to change how they are perceived and treated.

Robert Chapman looks at the history that led to this movement, showing how the rise of capitalism created an 'empire of normality' that transformed our understanding of the body into that of a productivity machine.

Blowing apart this outdated and oppressive understanding of mental functioning, Chapman argues that a bright future for neurodivergent communities could be achieved by challenging the deepest logics of capitalism. Liberation from oppression is possible, but only if we can change the conditions that gave rise to pervasive neuronormative domination across the modern world.