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Books, Journals, New Media
October 27, 2004

Body, Culture

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(16):2019-2024. doi:10.1001/jama.292.16.2022

In Replaceable You, the American Studies scholar David Serlin relocates the American fascination with using medicine to realign body with identity. It arose not in the liberated 1960s and 1970s, Serlin claims, but in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In these years, individuation, the quest for true self, became a hallmark of Americanism in its grand struggle with world Communism. Yet at the same time, normality—conformity in appearance, social and economic function, desire, and in life course generally—took hold as both expectation and standard of judgment.