The Practice of Everyday Life

The Practice of Everyday Life

Michel de Certeau Steven F. Rendall / Sep 18, 2019

The Practice of Everyday Life In this incisive book 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 commo

  • Title: The Practice of Everyday Life
  • Author: Michel de Certeau Steven F. Rendall
  • ISBN: 9780520061682
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this incisive book, 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.

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      • Michel de Certeau Steven F. Rendall

        Michel de Certeau Steven F. Rendall Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Practice of Everyday Life book, this is one of the most wanted Michel de Certeau Steven F. Rendall author readers around the world.


    740 Comments

    1. I teach this sucker, so there's gotta be some good in it, right? Oh, but it's beastly dense in classic French post-structuralist fashion. Some of it is beautiful - I love his reflection on traveling by rail, and while I prefer Henri Lefebvre's place-space distinction (it makes more intuitive sense that the empty homogeneous stuff would be space and the emotionally marked stuff would be place), the discussion of how maps serve to make abstraction from itineraries (i.e. lived experience) is quite [...]


    2. I'm giving this a full five stars while operating on the presumption that the parts I didn't understand are just as good as the parts I did. de Certeau is by no means an easy read, and I imagine a full comprehension of what he argues requires a facility with many more theorists and disciplines than I have (for example, I loved his critiques and analysis of Foucault and Bourdieu, but couldn't wrap my head around his discussions of Freud and Heidegger largely, I think, because my psychoanalysis an [...]


    3. I'm interested in what your professor expected you to get out of reading this. "By a paradox that is only apparent, the discourse that makes people believe is the one that takes away what it urges them to believe in, or never delivers what it promises." (105)When read as a series of aphorisms without a central initiating purpose to orient the reader, the reader is in the position of pure wanderer; i.e. when read in excerpt, the 110th floor view of the writing is hidden from the reader. If the go [...]


    4. Way too wordy, dense, and heady, but full of wonderful ideas that assume the agency and capability of regular people. We aren't just consumers! We are doing things! The world is terrible, but every day we are resisting in really small ways. Isn't that great to hear?


    5. كتاب مُرهق من كتب اللغة الجديدة :) كما أُسميها مُتعب بالنسبة لغير الأكاديميين لكن فِيهِ فلسفة جيدة .


    6. If I needed an explanation for not going into sociology, this book would provide it. Do we need a 200-page book to examine “the practice of everyday life”? I feel a bit like the centipede worrying about which foot to start out on. Still, there are some interesting insights: the tiny chapter 8, “Railway Navigation and Incarceration,” could stand alone as an essay on the strange relationship to space experienced by passengers on a train, and I was surprised and delighted to find a referenc [...]


    7. I echo some of the previous readers' comments about the density and difficulty of De Certeau's sentences - I had to look up words in the dictionary 3 times in one sentence at some point, and this was at the graduate school level. However, I also love love his metaphor of walking in the city as a way of affirming individual ways of doing life, of seeing, of choosing, of practicing everyday life, in contrast to mainstream ways that society is constructed, as expressed in the metaphor by the set ro [...]


    8. OK, so I know this was very influential on the transition between the study of representation and production and the study of practice and use. Despite that, other than a few select chapters, I found the book borderline unreadable. I can handle Foucault, Barthes, and Baudrillard just fine, and while Deleuze/Guattari is a stretch, I can still do it. This, on the other hand, just struck me as unreadable, and largely bullshit. So I can't say I was a fan, you know?


    9. I read de Certeau's PEL for a DMin course. Below find my "working outline" and reflections on the text.[Note: I found this difficult to follow—especially Parts 3-5. For this reason, my outline will be much briefer than for other texts.]General Introduction “Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property ofothers” (xii). The consumers/users of popular culture actively put the products of the producers to uses unforeseen/uncontrolled/unpredicted by the producers. [...]


    10. When I read the first paragraph of the introduction, I knew I had found a theoretical home. Michel de Certeau's "investigation of the ways in which users--commonly assumed to be passive and guided by established rules--operate" is about freedom, resistance, access, and the art of "dwelling" in the everyday. Reading de Certeau validated all the ways I have been teaching inductively. My practice was found in his theory. A reversal of good fortune. Be certain to read Chapter 7 - "Walking in the Cit [...]


    11. Hard to understand at first, but as you keep reading it, it starts making sense. de Certeau looks at how ordinary people through their everyday practices and embodied experiences reclaim their autonomy, and resist power structures.


    12. This is the first time I've ever read a work of theory and felt like I was hearing my own thoughts, more clearly articulated, more grounded in the literature, but expressing impressions and preoccupations that were my own. I will reread it, quote it, act on it.



    13. One of the most dense books I've ever read, contrary to a title that leads one to think of a simple meditation. What de Certeau offers us is an analysis of practices of everyday life (i.e. walking in a city, riding a train, reading, writing, etc.) that show that these practices carry with them technologies that shape the subject. Assuming that I am reading correctly, the argument seems to be that everyday life is itself beholden to the forces of capital and the State. I found de Certeau's reflec [...]


    14. An essential piece to understand Lyon and its history (the impact of Jacquard's invention on the programming of mechanical looms and the silk industry) which leads to contemporary concepts of what Prof. Eric von Hippel calls user-driven innovation.


    15. Thought-provoking, well-written response to the Frankfurt School's ideologies (and in particular, the writings of Horkheimer and Adorno)


    16. The writing is too thick. As usual with French intellectuals, he ought to have stepped off his high horse and sieved his language a little more. But I guess that to publish in France, it is mandatory to beat about the bush. If your understanding of French isn't very advanced, do find a translation, because this is a tough read. I read it three times, making notes. It is a shame that the reading experience is so very painful, because the points De Certeau makes are -very- interesting. In fact, he [...]


    17. الكتاب في مستواه متفاوت ما بين الممل جدا والرائع جدا.الأجزاء المملة هي بشكل عام القسمين الأولين و أجزاء من القسم الثالث والرابع (الكتاب يقع في خمسة أجزاء(. في هذه الأجزاء يكثر الحشو والتكرار و الدخول في تفاصيل مؤلفات و أبحاث أخرى قد لا يكون القارئ ملما بأي منها. هذه الأجزاء لا [...]


    18. This is a book I recommended frequently to people without actually having read, given that a classmate of mine back in the Medieval Spatial Theory course had explained parts of it very persuasively. It was hard to find in stores so I bought it online, and found it a very beautiful (and very deliciously-smelling) book. I read most of this in the Dublin airport (side-by-side with The Last Unicorn) which might be pretty fitting when you've got a book thinking about even our interactions with space [...]


    19. El día a día, ignorado por las disciplinas más elevadas, es sin embargo la fuente de las estructuras sociales y personales. En esa cotidianeidad las personas se las ingenian, se las arreglan con lo que tienen, con todo y a pesar de que las élites encargadas de estructurar la situación traten de hacerles el bobo. Retomando numerosos ejemplos y puntualizaciones teóricas (en especial foucaultianas y freudianas), nos podemos acercar un poco a conocer esas tácticas, esas artes de hacer de la g [...]


    20. This was awesome- some of his analyses are incredibly beautiful. Some are completely incomprehensible. I advice following the translator's advice (from my edition at least) and reading parts 3-5 before reading 1-2. I didn't and 1-2 were very confusing and theoretical and I had a difficult time following much, especially not knowing a ton about the context in which the book was written. However, parts 3-5 were very enjoyable and moving to read. Would highly recommend if you're interested in philo [...]


    21. The Practice of Everyday Life is a tribute to the ingenuity of the everyday person. It's a set of essays, and should be read this way (he seems to contradict himself - at time a structuralist and at other time a post-structuralist). He describe contemporary societies as transforming from verbal to visual. The ordinary (the ants, the weak) cope with their circumstances by being creative and circumventing the cards they are dealt. He believes people in everyday life don't follow scripts but they c [...]


    22. As rewarding as it is challenging, this should be required reading for anyone in the humanities or social sciences. The Practice of Everyday Life is a turn from "producer studies" in the humanities and STS, turning the focus from authors, designers and engineers to the user. Excellent set of tools for thinking about games, "piracy," remix culture and a wide range of topics of contemporary interest.No short review can do this magesterial work justice. Read it. Just be warned, it's *very* dense an [...]


    23. 'Like the skill of a driver in the streets of Rome or Naples, there is a skill that has its connoisseurs and its esthetics exercised in any labyrinth of powers, a skill ceaselessly recreating opacities and ambiguities - spaces of darkness and trickery - in the universe of technocratic transparency, a skill that disappears into them and reappears again, taking no responsibility for the administration of a totality. Even the field of misfortune is refashioned by this combination of manipulation an [...]


    24. So far - I feel like DeCerteau was a kind of a wonder - he spoke about resistance from a peculiarly Catholic/Decon. subjectivity - he self-negates by privileging the spoken word above the written life of the letter, as being the realm of voices and, in a sense, revelation. He strikes me (without having read much Levinas) as being an almost New Testament version of Derrida's Levinas, at least I look forward to reading more of him!


    25. I found it rather uneven. Sometimes de Certeau keeps himself on track and other times it seems like he's just torturing his point or engaging in flights of fancy. There's also something that feels wrong about writing about the Common Man and how he uses language in such convoluted prose that is quite difficult to decipher. The book moves from Freud and Wittgenstein to a more direct statement about texts/reading/writing.


    26. Interessante theorie over hoe consumenten geen hersenloze schapen zijn, maar juist onbewust en actief omgaan met wat de technocratische macht hen voorschotelt. Zo schrijven we en mythuseren we de stad door shortcuts te nemen bv. Had alleen wel 80% korter kunnen zijn, had de Certeau de obligate woordspelingen en parodieën kunnen laten. Helaas, als epigoon van het Frans post-structuralisme kon de Certeau dat blijkbaar niet loslaten. Kortom: verrijkend voor doorbijters.


    27. DeCerteau's ideas about looking at the stories inherent in histories. Although his prose can be hard to follow at times (he is a french philosopher). I think his overall claims about the powers of discourse, and the composition of theory and everyday life as a series of stories is helpful and intriguing to consider. I plan to give this book a closer read in order to consider his ideas thoughtfully; it's definitely a book to make time to sit with.


    28. I was sceptical when I first saw a class on 'Everyday Life' at my university, but intrigued enough to enrol in it. This book, much like the class, was long and difficult - though it completely changed the way I write about phenomenology in other classes. An eye-opening look that, in the very least, challenges the ordinary, and, at best, will alter paradigms.


    29. I think this book is important as far as its analysis of the human condition, but the translation I read was very difficult to navigate. It used too many archaic words, which is funny, considering that the book examines word usage. Then again, I make this criticism of all of the post structural writers.


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