Our Quest for ExcitementMichael J. Apter
Why do we slow down to look at car accidents? Why would rich people shoplift? What draws people to parachuting, military service, and sadistic sex?
These are just some of the questions this book unravels in its investigation of our paradoxical liking of danger. Using the concept of a ‘protective frame’, drawn from Reversal Theory, Danger: Our Love of Living on the Edge explains how, even in dangerous situations (often because of them!) anxiety becomes excitement and fear, exhilaration–transforming the horrifying into the heavenly.
Examining different kinds of protective frames and how they affect our behaviour, as well as how they are institutionalized in our culture, this book explores how excitement-seeking can lead to disaster for ourselves or others, how it opens us to manipulation—but also how it can be uniquely creative and life-enhancing.
An intellectual tour de force, Danger throws light on a critically important but often neglected force of human nature and culture.