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French sociologies of the quotidian



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  • 1. French Sociologies of the QuotidianFrom Dialectical Marxism to the Anthropology of Everyday Practice Derek Schilling Hande Işık METU ID 501 Literature Review March 20th, 2012
  • 2. Scope
  • 3. KeywordsEveryday-everydayness, alienation, directed consumption,reverse anthropology, rationalism, mystified consciousness, strategies-tactics
  • 4. Introduction• Critique of Everyday Life* by Henri Lefebvre • Everyday and everydayness• Everyday life should be dialectically considered w.r.t. superstructure and ideologies – False consciousness under modernity• In spite of standardization, unalienable human residue persists. *Critique de la vie quotidian
  • 5. Introduction• Critique of Everyday Life became a reference to the quotidian studies in France. – Cause Commune  Reverse anthropology – Michel de Certau  Theory of everyday practices – Michel Maffesoli  Polyphonic analysis of sociality
  • 6. Marxist Humanism and Dialectics• Threefold aim of the Critique: 1. To establish, the primacy of dialectical reason for understanding “impure” everyday life as part of the totality. 3. To combat the subjugation of the proleteriat by “demystifying” it and rekindling the class solidarity needed to effect change. 5. To observe and analyse human reality that are ignored by the disciplines the better to prepare the transformations of everyday life through praxis.
  • 7. Mystification and Total Man• Mystified consciousness: – The contradiction btwn belief and fact, perception and reality • Reduction of needs to the sole for money – True class consciousness stymied between being and having » Biological, social, psychological needs
  • 8. Mystification and Total Man• Fundamental health through daily creative activity Manual labor avoid private consciousness. Workers’ unions and organizations allow for improvements.
  • 9. The Inventory of Culture• How it is precisely that we live?
  • 10. Levels, Tactics, Spontaneity• Everyday colonized everydayness for consumer society. – New sources of alienation appeared • Which product to buy?• “Everyday” in relation to tactics and strategies – Social groups coalesce around shared projects: a goal to be attained a common adversary to be defeated in extreme tension, intense social activity. – By contrast when existence stagnates the everyday becomes one sided and lapses into triviality.
  • 11. Cause Commune• Aims to open the way for an anthropology of modern man and an investigation of everyday life at all levels.• Appeals reflexive anthropology and proximate ethnography.• Makes the reverse cultural analysis through infra-quotidian/infra-ordinary; like background noise, which goes all but unnoticed because it is unremarkable – Aligned with creative imaginary lay below interactions and habits • Consumer desires despite the difficulty in meeting the ends.
  • 12. De Certau’s Theory of Everyday Practices• Unseen inventiveness of everyday life.• Affected from Foucault’s power relation analysis – In contrast to strategies of institutions, practices of weaks (popular class) are tactical. Tactics try to subvert power relations.
  • 13. Michel Maffesoli’s Rituals of Passive Resistance• Sociality resists the attempts of transitory powers to subordinate it.• Hedonism  the enjoyment of masses is a sign of robust social health – Masses live tragic sentiment of present – They know how to seize the moment in its concrete sensuality.• As a theatrical space within which the masses cynically assert a healthy distance from ideologies – Active passivity
  • 14. Comparison
  • 15. Thanks for listening…