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Cover for The Practice of Everyday Life

The Practice of Everyday Life

Michel de Certeau, Steven Rendall (Translated by)


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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. In exploring the public meaning of ingeniously defended private meanings, de Certeau draws brilliantly on an immense theoretical literature to speak of an apposite use of imaginative literature.

Praise For The Practice of Everyday Life

"We are fortunate to have de Certeau's work available in English, and in such a graceful and meticulous translation."
— Comparative Literature

"Whether writing about madness and mysticism in the seventeenth century, South American resistance movements in the past and present, or the practice of everyday life in the twentieth century, Certeau developed a distinctive way of interpreting social and personal relations."
— New York Review of Books

"The Practice of Everyday Life, published in 1974 and now the first of his books available in English translation, offers ample evidence why we should pay heed to de Certeau. . . . The work all but defies definition. History, sociology, economics, literature and literary criticism, philosophy, and anthropology all come within de Certeau's ken."
— Journal of Modern History

"The book retains its freshness and relevance."
— Journal of Business Anthropology

University of California Press, 9780520271456, 256pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2011

About the Author

Michel de Certeau (1925–1986) was Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and Visiting Professor of French and Comparative Literature at University of California, San Diego.