The Practice of Everyday Life

“Making Do” – Uses and Tactics

In his classic book, de Certeau focused on the everyday practices of ordinary people, contrasting them to techniques and systems of power that pursue total control over them. The chapter “Uses and Tactics” distinguishes two elementary forms of action: the strategies of those on power, and the ruses and tactics of those subordinated to power. It is from this point of view that he analyses the ways we use ready-made systems – language, urban spaces, the world of commodities, and so on – that are imposed upon us. His major insight, that had a significant influence on later consumption studies, is that we are never mere passive recipients of systems imposed on us, but we actively appropriate them through the art of practice.

Released: Replika 72, 95–107.
Ágoston Fáber