Epi-pro-logue: An anthropological theory of distortion

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This text was, in essence, originally circulated as a concept paper at a workshop held at the University of Copenhagen, in January 2012, to inaugurate the project, ‘Optimal distortion: Ethnographic explorations of paradoxical connections’, that had been funded by the Danish Research Board for Culture and Communication (with us as its two principal investigators). By concluding the present volume with an ‘epi-pro-logue’ 1 that was written before the preceding case studies were themselves completed, we hope to make a final instantiation of the ‘non-linear’ logic of distortion that we have sought to explore throughout this book. From the outset of the research project it had been stipulated that processes of distortion might offer a germane arena for studying how certain logics and forms of linear causality come to mutate in productive ways: hence, the present text might be a further empirical illustration of this theoretical hypothesis. For, if the order of academic texts are conventionally based on the premise that the conditions for a given line of argument are ideally set up prior to the subsequent analyses, then could it not be that certain lines of ethnographically driven anthropological analyses require precisely the opposite - namely, that the process of gaining insight into a certain problem occurs by reversing the relationship between premise and argument, cause and effect?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistortion : Social Processes beyond the Structured and Systemic
Number of pages9
Publication date1 Jan 2017
ISBN (Print)9781138230651
ISBN (Electronic)9781315317533
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

ID: 209836233