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The Practice of Everyday Life
 
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The Practice of Everyday Life [Format Kindle]

Miche de Certeau , Steven F. Rendall

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Michel de Certeau considers the uses to which social representation and modes of social behavior are put by individuals and groups, describing the tactics available to the common man for reclaiming his own autonomy from the all-pervasive forces of commerce, politics, and culture. In exploring the public meaning of ingeniously defended private meanings, de Certeau draws brilliantly on an immense theoretical literature in analytic philosophy, linguistics, sociology, semiology, and anthropology--to speak of an apposite use of imaginative literature.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  17 commentaires
172 internautes sur 178 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Enigmatic and enlightening 12 janvier 2003
Par Peter A. Kindle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Sometimes I am simply proud that I have read a book. This slim volume falls into that category. The fourteen short chapters explode with new ideas, fresh perspectives, and tantalizing viewpoints. To summarize these riches is unlikely to do them justice, yet I will try.
De Certeau inverts social values and cultural hierarchies. His hero metaphor is not the exemplar, but rather the ant. Wisdom resides not in the pronouncement of expert or philosopher, but in the routine discourse between ordinary people. To De Certeau the definitional constraints imposed by the experts result in artificial distinctions. Only the discourse of ordinary people is firmly rooted in experience and embraces the varieties and logical complexities of living.
Among these complexities of life is the amazing adaptive capacity of the ordinary. Even the most oppressive and controlling of cultures cannot eradicate the subversive agency of the peasant. This subversive agency is expressed through mythic stories, common proverbs, and verbal tricks. De Certeau refers to the adaptive capacity of the ordinary as tactics of living, and these tactics may be best exemplified when the worker does the personal while on the clock.
The distinction between strategy and tactics is central to De Certeau's thought. Strategy refers to the top-down exercise of power to coerce compliance. Tactics refer to the opportunistic manipulations offered by circumstance. The conflict between strategies and tactics is ironic - as strategic forces expand to increase dominance, there is a corresponding increase in opportunity for tactical subversion.
De Certeau relates his ideas to the theoretical work of Foucault and Bourdieu, and continues his inverted perspective by looking anew at the concept of city, commuter travel by rail, story telling, writing, reading, and believing.
This book is more of a riddle than a narrative; de Certeau provides glimpses of his meaning from time to time, but deliberately avoids propositional clarity. This style requires that the reader take an unusual stance toward this book. Instead of expecting the author to communicate, the reader must content himself with hints and suggestions of meaning. I am convinced that these hints and suggestions are more than worth the reader's investment of time. Find a quiet place and enjoy!
141 internautes sur 155 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 good ideas, but painful reading 11 mai 2001
Par Jeremy P. Bushnell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
DeCerteau's ideas in this book primarily deal with control and resistance: he finds that average people have developed various strategies that establishes their independence in a world that seeks to dominate them. He's especially interested in how people receive media: he thinks media producers (including writers) seek to impose meaning on media consumers, yet he rejects the notion that consumers consume mindlessly. DeCerteau examines the creative strategies employed by consumers, and he in fact sees them as a form of unrecognized producers (which is part of why this book is of interest to people studying 'fan fiction' and similar phenomena).
Like much French theory, this book functions like a poem, making its argument by way of symbolic relationships and analogy rather than by calling upon the causal / statistical relationships that characterize much American argument. This may turn some people off, and even by French-theory standards this book is not user-friendly at all. DeCerteau often uses common, general words (say, "writing," or "time") to refer to very particular, highly-nuanced concepts. Simply relying upon the commonly-accepted meanings of those words will not do, and yet deCerteau rarely takes the time to explain the meanings that he has in mind. The result is that the book reads like an enormous cryptogram: you can only decipher what he means by particular words by noting and crossreferencing the varying contexts in those words are used throughout the book-- a tedious process which forced this reader to continually question whether the nuggets of gold were really worth all the panning through silt.
67 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a book that changed the way I think 14 janvier 2002
Par F Bauerschmidt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is one of the great books of French post-structuralist thought. I realize that to some people that might be like saying "one of the nicest Nazis I know." But for those who don't immediately dismiss the entire genre, there is much to be gained from reading, and rereading, this book.
In essence, Certeau is challenging the rather despairing vision of Foucault's The Order of Things, with its image of the panopticon from which no one can escape. Certeau focuses on everyday practices to see how people do in fact escape the all-seeing gaze of the panopticon. In particular his distinction between "strategy" and "tactics" is useful and intriguing.
The language is highly poetic and at times difficult going, but *how* Certeau says what he says is in some ways as important as *what* he says. He wants to write in a way that at the same time uses and escapes the constraints of ordinary language. It takes some getting used to, but it is worth it.
38 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Incomparable style and scholarship 15 août 2002
Par Ben Dongieux - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Michel de Certeau's brilliant book is one of the primary nodes in the historical switchbox that eventually crossed the signals that led us through structuralism and practice theory to critical realism and Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. His classic exploration of everyday life will send flashes of light and pleasure through the mind on a constant basis - his dense, absolutely masterful, and witty expository quasi-poetry on economy, power, and practice is essentially an extended series of aphorisms, upon any one of which an entire essay could be based. And a good one, at that.
What we have here is a celebration of the everyday, the common, the mundane, and the wonderful capacity of life to resist systematization and classification via its organic flexibility and espirit de corps. It is a wonderful wake-up call: "A few individuals, after having long considered themselves experts speaking a scientific language, have finally awoken from their slumbers and suddenly realized that for the last few moments they have been walking on air, like Felix the Cat in the old cartoons, far from the scientific ground. Though legitimized by scientific knowledge, their discourse is seen to have been no more than the ordinary language of tactical games between economic powers and symbolic authorities."
Writing in the tradition of Lefevbre (more so than anyone else who comes to mind at the moment), his work touches upon contemporary Foucault and Bourdieu only briefly and then moves on to do much more. For example, in the way of analyses of strategic and tactical behavior, resistances, spatial practices, sublatern hermeneutics, and state/scientific ideologies of secrecy and knowledge. In de Certeau, we see not just a clearing of the intellectual path for towering figures such as Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Giddens, Lash, Appadurai, and Taussig (to name only a handful) - enabling them to come whistling along with their variously insightful ideas from A to Z - but we see it done with a panache and "Ich weiss es nicht" that is memorable in the persona it invokes.
And as long as you're sitting on the Paris-Munchen ICE, scratching your chin and contemplating the axiological implications of beer or coffee at 9am, I can't think of anything better to read than de Certeau's comments on the rite of passage of Railway Incarceration and Navigation (Chapter VIII), in which a whole series of transformations is extracted from the mundane in a suprahumane and very-French manner. Bon voyage!
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 an essential reading for contemporary urban studies 22 juin 2009
Par Rogerio P. Leite - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
One of the most interesting writings on everyday life is Michel de Certeau's The Practice of Everyday Life (1984, first published in Paris in 1980). Written in a somehow fragmented and often elliptical style, the book's central point revolves around everyday practices that he distinguishes between strategies and tactics that inform the author's arts de faire. De Certeau's hetereodox view sustains that daily life is defined by regularities, even though they may be recurrent. Far from being made of trivialities as in Erving Goffman's view, and distant from Hans-Georg Gadamer's interactive play, to say nothing of the set of normative social roles as in Talcott Parsons's view, De Certeau's everyday life is made of procedures. From his critical reading of authors such as M. Foucault, P. Bourdieu and M. Detienne, in his metaphorical language everyday life is similar to a battlefield in which procedures develop into practices, i.e. strategies and tactics. The description of the pair of concepts extends from guerrilla analogy allowing De Certeau to breaks with the understanding of daily life as routine and claims that it is rather continuous movement. In this movement, like in the battle ground, strategy refers to a "postulate of power", circumscribed to a variety of terms that De Certeau makes current use of: property, ownership, place, among others. Tactics on the contrary is seen "a calculated action determined by the absence of a proper locus" are ways of operating, taking "advantage of opportunities" of (daily) life (moving around, talking, reading, cooking, individual creative assemblages, etc). Determined by the "absence of power," (of proper locus) tactics is the "art of the weak" operating insidiously "blow by blow" as in the art of craft.
The daily practice emphasizes how labyrinthine procedures of action function in reference to the procedural logic and dynamic of power relations. The emphasis on daily life as a battlefield, breaks with the normative character of everyday social action and highlights the power relations that relate substantially to the social construction of public life. The concept of everyday practice in De Certeau therefore helps us to consider different ways of space formation and appropriation, as well as breaking social and physical boundaries that demarcate contemporary urban life. This leads De Certeau to another pair of articulated concepts: space and place. Space refers to the absence of previously defined positions and, therefore, it is an order that provides various possible moving experiences in everyday life. Place, on the contrary, calls for certain rather stable configurations. The everyday practices and tactics allows for an understanding of the ruptures in contemporary urban life: an insinuating poetic and war-like inversion of everyday life. This is a fundamental reason why The Practice of Everyday Life is an essential reading for contemporary urban studies.

Rogerio Proença Leite, PhD.
Professor and researcher
Federal University of Sergipe - UFS/Brazil

The Practice of Everyday Life
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Analysis shows that a relation (always social) determines its terms, and not the reverse, and that each individual is a locus in which an incoherent (and often contradictory) plurality of such relational determinations interact. &quote;
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Marginality is today no longer limited to minority groups, but is rather massive and pervasive; this cultural activity of the non-producers of culture, an activity that is unsigned, unreadable, and unsymbolized, remains the only one possible for all those who nevertheless buy and pay for the showy products through which a productivist economy articulates itself. Marginality is becoming universal. A marginal group has now become a silent majority. &quote;
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The tactics of consumption, the ingenious ways in which the weak make use of the strong, thus lend a political dimension to everyday practices. &quote;
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