Henri Lefebvre’s Dialectics of Everyday Life Hande Işık METU ID 501 Literature Review March 22nd, 2012
Everyday Life and Cultural TheoryThe Critique of Everyday Life by Lefebvre: It is the multiple perspective offered by a traditional and yet changing countryside mixed with a profound engagement with the transformation of urban life that can account for the huge scale of the project.
Everyday Life and Cultural Theory• As France was reconstructed – Modernization = Consumer Culture – Affected by American temptation• Modern EDL – As Marxist: exploitative, oppressive, bureaucratic society of controlled consumption – As Romantic: energies within the ED can be used to transform it. – Modernity and EDL constitude a structure. – Intense experience Moments of sensations Everday life EDL:Everyday life
Everyday Life and Cultural TheoryLefebvre: Modernization = Consumer Culture Transformation American temptation Coca cola, TV, blue jean, electric cooker Especially directed on women
Everyday Life and Cultural Theory Colonialism of EDL by capitalism Commodity, market, money seize EDL Transformation continuation process
Everyday Life and Cultural Theory• Colonized relationship Americanization Particular way of life Cultural globalization• EDL was colonized by capitalism– Continuation of imperialism– Urban cities shows global domination of ethnicization.– Colonial relations with US ended up with Americanization.
Foundations• Lefebvre’s work: Total man or Total person • Humankind no longer alienated Results in the “end of history” • The telos of history having been reached – Insistence on la Fête (the festival) • As a moment other to the capitalist everyday and enacting a critique of the seperation of the aesthetic from the social, art from life.
Foundations• By placing la Fête at the end of history – Privilege creativity for the transformation of EDL – Decline of centrally organized society• EDL – Capitalist modernity • Increase homogenity • Social differences deepens
Foundations Transformation of EDL Alienation Themselves Each other(Expression of human potential)
Foundations• EDL • Alienation under conditions of modernity • Transformation of EDL • Due to dealination of human beings and creation of total person, which is “end of history”
Foundations• Total Person + La Fête Statist Transformation• Promotion of festival as a model – End of history = Dissolution of the State – Festival is part of popular EDL but a radical reconfiguring of daily life that is anything but everyday • It becomes visible at moments of “effervescence” (Blanchot)
Foundations Everyday is visible through Festivals (carnival) Revolutionary Situation symbolic anticipatory overthrow of overturns oppressive cultural values social structures social hierarchies (differences, gender, class) alienation(possibility of living otherwise is glimpsed)
That which repeats itself constantly…• Everyday life – Ordinary, Banal, Recurrent, Repetitive • But also involves extra ordinary as being part of the routine – Cycle of work and leisure• Seperation of society experience into labor, leisure, love, etc – Leisure (ex. camping), continuation of alienation of work • Articulates real needs • Commodifies desires • Bounds up with commercialism • Continuation of festival!
Hypermodernization• 1950-1960’s, period of hypermodenization – Esp. France, Germany • From rural to empire-oriented • Catholic to fully industrialized, decolonized, urban – Double articulation • Complex colonial relations btwn traditional France and decolonization of French colonies, Algeria – Exploitation of immigrants – Culture industries (americanization)
Hypermodernization Constrained time SpaceSuburbanization Commuting Time Reduces free time “Surplus Labor”
• City full of constraints and production of boredom – Urban space with Do’s and Dont’s
Semiotics of Postmodern Symbol SignalMeaning experienced Instrumentally reducedthrough narrative meaning, on/offthemes of culture more communication, replate DO’s/ DON’Ts Fullness, multiplicity (Polysemy) Society of prohibition and commands
May 1968, urbanism and the Situationists• Leftist students’ taking control and workers’ strike• Lefebvre and Situationists – Urban ED containing the conditions to transform • Dérive: to wander, to drift around the city Loitering? • Détournment: negating elements of culture as a prelude to their transformation • Derive is a practical detournment – Observant in aimless, assumes that the ED can be best percieved as a form of unconsciousness. – Drafting around cities, form of urban “free associations”; designed to reveal the hidden secrets of EDL.
May 1968, urbanism and the Situationists• Focus on: Urban Fabric Restore Transform La Fête EDL