Saturday, February 12, 2005

Notes on everyday life

Barry Sandywell, 2004, The Myth of Everyday Life, Cultural Studies 18(2/3):160-180

Epistemologies of everyday life

Critical: everyday reality as a domain of materializations and incarnate practices; technologically mediated interactions between lifeworlds and systems; technoscience as a powerful force in late modern societies (eg. Lyon)

Dialogical: the complex heteroglossia of daily life articulated in speech genres and cultural forms; sociological hermeneutics investigating the reflexivity forms in which different individuals and groups live out their relationships to their everyday activities (eg. Bahktin, Bauman, Gadamer)

Heterological investigations of 'molecular' power, the micropolitics of everyday social practices, the multidimensionality of the ordinary (eg. de Certeau, Deleuze, Guattari, Maffesoli)

Everyday life vs. ordinariness

"There is no such thing as 'everyday life'. 'Everyday life' as a homogeneous entity or as a veil of illusory experience has never existed. In fact, this view is one of the myths sustaining the Eurocentric social-imaginary universe. The homogeneous category of 'lifeworld' (and lifeworld subjectivity) is no longer seen as a simple identity, but is redefined as a complex site of contestation and difference ... Ordinariness turns out to be the hybridized 'non-place' where collective memory, the struggle for the meaning of sociality, identity and history are represented and performed on a day-to-day basis across a spectrum of social and political struggles and conflicts ... In reality, everyday experience is a wholly mediated, contested, and processual site of material and ideological struggles, a screen of unsatisifed hopes, desires and dreams as well as a nostalgic icon of value and order ... Where the grammar of everyday life intoned universality, homogeneity and passivity, the heterology of ordinariness opens the way for a more radical politics of experience informed by an agonistic conception of culture and sociocultural change."


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