Norms and Values in the Age of Trump

I cry at television commercials, especially when they include babies or dogs, which happens a lot in ads for car companies and banks. A recent ad that caught my eye was for a company that would invest your money. It featured a baby lying on its father’s chest while the dad moved around part of his portfolio (or maybe it was to take out a loan) with a few computer clicks. The baby snuggled up, looking very comfortable, outfitted in an undershirt and a diaper. I thought that a very pleasing image because it meant the baby could hear his father’s heart and that would be comforting because the baby had for so many months during his gestation period heard its mother’s heart. The familiar would be comforting. And that made me reflect on, of all things, a basic sociological concept that had been troubling me ever since graduate school: the idea of norm. Let me explain.

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