Over het boek:
''What''s the system in the madness?'' or ''What''s the madness in the system?'' Of course, it is a query that is - or ought to be - basic to any type of thorough ethnography and grounded theory. It is to these dimensions that the present volume is devoted.
The social sciences - including anthropology - predominantly deal with order, not disorder or chaos. Social scientists tend to overlook the wild, uncivilized, transgressive and abhorrent elements of human existence, while they ought to devote systematic attention to this dimension, since it is intrinsic to the human condition, the flipside of ''civilization''.
It is in various forms of radical inclusion and exclusion that sensorial sensations and experiences, language, fantasies and art play a vital role in bringing about order and disorder. Hence anthropologists should systematically devote their attention to the importance of all senses in such meaning-making acts: the total sensorial experience of the world and people’s sensitive knowledge of it.
Part I, ‘Double-edged Swords: Wildness and Civilization’ deals with the wild, and often horrible, sides of civilized societies and their body politic. Part II, ‘Making Sense’ is concerned with material culture, embodied and sensorial experiences and particularly aisthesis and anaesthesia.
The modes and manners of imagination, classification, sensitization and representation are the book’s common denominator and are addressed in an ethnographic, conceptual and a theoretical sense. Around this pivotal issue inspired by the seminal work of Jojada Verrips the editors have succeeded in bringing together an intriguing and thought-provoking set of articles