Some Thoughts on “The Practice of Every Day Life”

I used to wonder, who made the history? And who influenced the construction of the society. A individual person?A group? Or the inevitable trend of the bigger context? The sociologists used to  focus on the majority’s ideology in the social context macroscopically and discuss the inevitability of the evolution of the society; however, Michel de Certeau considers the individual’s behavior and describes individual’s action in the every day life. By using the tactics, the individuals will claim their own discursive power in the morden society which the ideology has already taken by the force of the mainstreams. The individuals he observed is not only the marginalized group but also you and me, and the ordinary people who constructed the society. According to other book review, the research focus of the Sociology has been switch from the group to the individual and Michel de Certeau is not the first person who pay his attention to the ordinary people and every day life. But I really appreciate the idea of using tactics to resist the force of the mainstreams.

I will interprete the beginning of the chapter we read as the reflection of the switching focus in the sociological academia. It is also a change of the research method. Walking is a great metaphor which indicates understanding the specific individual.The concept of the city is just an epitome of the society. “The concept-city is decaying.”he said(95). Now the concept-city is “a place of trasformations and appropriations  the object of various kinds of interference but also a subject that is constantly enriched by new attributes, it is simultaneously the machinery an the hero of modernity.”(95)  The pluralism is the cause of this change, and it also will be the research object of sociological study.

However, I got lost when he tried to connect the  rhetoric and the pedestrian enunciation. The verbal communication includes the location, the actors, and the the most important part, “phatic” aspect. (P99) And the modality of pedestrian enunciation is quite paralleled with the verbal communication. Michel de Certeau proposed a notion of “residing rhetoric”.(P100)

 

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