Accepted paper:

Comparison as a tool of affective politics: language of madness vs. language of reason

Authors:

Natasa Polgar (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research)

Paper short abstract:

In this contribution, I will focus on affective dimensions of comparison, mainly on fear as a particular trigger for the act of comparison, and their "invisible" or hidden ideological background.

Paper long abstract:

In this contribution, I will focus on affective dimensions of comparison, mainly on fear as a particular trigger for the act of comparison, and their "invisible" or hidden ideological background. I will try to elaborate that affective practices of comparison are not only socially and culturally produced or evoked, but are a part of larger affective politics' procedures, especially in the specific context of professions such as psychiatry. I will illustrate these reflections with examples from my current research project on beginnings of institutional psychiatry in late 19th century Croatia, which relies on comparisons of "normal" or sane versus "pathological" or insane. Although it would have been expected that such comparisons and their systems are based on scientific methods, I will try to show how and to what extent these methods and categories stem out of affective politics and intertwine with ideological projects of the "Age of reason".

panel Disc09
Comparison as social and cultural practice