year after Lefebvre's death and in English in 2004 as Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and EverydayLife . This short book is widely considered as the fourth and final volume of Lefebvre's hitherto three-volume Critique of EverydayLife (Lefebvre, 2014 ) and has attracted considerable interest in the twenty-first century. It adds a temporal dimension to Lefebvre's long-standing analyses of space and attempts to think time and space together.
As the instances I described above suggest, rhythmanalysis is helpful as a means of sensing and making sense of rhythm
and Goodwin ( 2014 : 926) note, the everyday is ‘a notoriously difficult term to define, … we can generalise that it is an arena of social life that includes repetitive daily cycles and routines that we learn but eventually take for granted’. This academic interest in everydaylife, while not an especially new phenomenon, can contemporaneously be traced back to the ‘cultural turn’ within the social sciences, from around the early 1970s, when engagements between cultural studies and philosophical traditions were raising questions about ‘how we make sense of the world
Object interviews as a means of studying everyday life
Since the material turn in the social sciences, researchers have been exploring new ways to engage with the objects and materials of everydaylife. Such methods aim to overcome subject–object binaries, placing the very substance of materials at the core of their inquiry (Gregson and Crewe, 1998 ). This chapter takes one such approach – object interviews – to explore how objects and materials structure our everyday lives and relationships. This method involves not only unearthing the significance of objects to their owners, but also
how far everyday sociability might be seen as a ‘more-than-human’ affair (Tipper, 2012 ).
But, like many of the creatures which skitter, flutter and scurry through our ordinary lives, the everyday itself is elusive and hard to capture; seemingly unremarkable and taken-for-granted. It is difficult to articulate what is considered mundane. Of course, the ‘everyday’ is not interchangeable with ‘mundaneity’: everydaylife encompasses remarkable, astonishing and singular moments, whereas the mundane is the routine, unexamined part of quotidian life that seems
, and popularity. Who, for instance, can forget the iconic big blue skies of Albuquerque, or the twang of a dobro guitar musically setting the scene? In its sense of place and imaginative geography of the US, this was trailblazing television. 5 And, within that deliberately specific (New Mexico) and yet all-American setting, the show wrestles with the philosophical implications of everydaylife, albeit on an epic level, driven by Walt’s quest for change – for something more . 6
Breaking Bad , of course, deals with a range of personal circumstances, which, I argue
intended as a complement to his work and one that works with his ethnographic sensibility. In particular, I seek to demonstrate the gain of bringing our sociological attention to the temporal and spatial texture of everydaylife in the Sheppey materials, something which can easily slip from view when we focus on broader sociological themes and arguments.
In what follows, I discuss Pahl’s approach to doing sociology, something about which he is explicit in his comments on the sociologist’s tools and tasks, and something which is felt between the lines of his work
interview as bounded; it often acted as the catalyst for ideas that ruminated for a few weeks or even months. Perhaps to be expected when discussing the mundane and other aspects of everydaylife that we do not generally spend much time considering, these research interviews regularly catalysed a longer-term reanalysis of participants’ own practices. This led to follow-up communications from participants offering new ideas or clarifications. Once the interviews were transcribed, I sent the transcriptions to the participants. This not only ensured they had a record of
more substantial historical dimension into their work. 1 This chapter will briefly outline the main currents of thought in anthropology over this period, and examine the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everydaylife and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. In the context of these approaches to history research and writing we will also examine the key concept of ‘ethnicity’.
The concept of human culture is at the heart of anthropology. In the late nineteenth century Edward Burnett Tylor, often regarded as ‘the
of using a mode which has long been superseded.
I end the chapter by looking at Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End , a novel published in 2007. It describes the minutiae of everydaylife in the office of an advertising agency, with the unusual device of using the first-person plural for its narrative perspective. It is an example of a novel that is engaged with Realism/realism, and attempts to rework this aesthetic against a backdrop of the postmodern critique of realist representation.
Joshua Ferris: Then We Came to the End
Here is the opening
Every piece of historical writing has a theoretical basis on which evidence is selected, filtered, and understood. This book explores the theoretical perspectives and debates that are generally acknowledged to have been the most influential within the university-led practice of history over the past century and a half. It advises readers to bear in mind the following four interlinked themes: context, temporal framework, causation or drivers of change, and subjectivities. The book outlines the principles of empiricism, the founding epistemology of the professional discipline, and explores the ways in which historians have challenged and modified this theory of knowledge over the past century and a half. It then focuses upon three important dimensions of historical materialism in the work of Marxist historians: the dialectical model at the basis of Marx's grand narrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and the enduring question of class consciousness. The use of psychoanalysis in history, the works of Annales historians and historical sociology is discussed next. The book also examines the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everyday life and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. The roles of narrative, gender history, radical feminism, poststructuralism and postcolonial history are also discussed. Finally, the book outlines the understandings about the nature of memory and remembering, and looks at key developments in the analysis and interpretation of oral histories and oral traditions.