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The Changing Societal View of Freaks: Popular Culture, Medical Discourse, and Physical Differences in 19th and 20th Century

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dc.contributor.advisor Sadana, Rashmi
dc.contributor.author Blase, Rachel
dc.creator Blase, Rachel
dc.date 2017-08-03
dc.date.accessioned 2017-12-21T20:17:20Z
dc.date.available 2017-12-21T20:17:20Z
dc.identifier doi:10.13021/G84X2X
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/1920/10853
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the "freak show" in American history and analyzes how shifts in medical knowledge and the public's perception of that knowledge changed attitudes about people's physical and mental abnormalities. Through a study of popular culture, medical discourse, and the freak show itself, it is possible to uncover how freakishness came to be medicalized and treated as a medical problem. In doing so, it explores the often-racialized view of freaks as well as the birth of notions of disability in the American context. As medical science progressed and revealed the causes behind human abnormalities, curiosity transformed into disability. Resulting in a change in how audiences regarded the freak shows that were once extremely popular.
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject freak show en_US
dc.subject popular culture en_US
dc.subject medical discourse en_US
dc.subject P.T. Barnum en_US
dc.subject human abnormalities en_US
dc.title The Changing Societal View of Freaks: Popular Culture, Medical Discourse, and Physical Differences in 19th and 20th Century en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
thesis.degree.name Master of Arts in Anthropology en_US
thesis.degree.level Master's en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Anthropology en_US
thesis.degree.grantor George Mason University en_US


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