User:Lieven Van Speybroeck/Reading/Theory/De Certeau The Practice of Everyday Life

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Notes on Michel De Certeau's The Practive of Everyday Life – Chapt III Making Do

  1. La perruque:
    The ways in which workers trick their employers into thinking they are working when they are actually doing personal things using their company's time and spare materials.
    The worker's own work disguised as work for his employer.
    Michel De Certeau
    Different ways of operating: depending on the situation, one can establish a degree of plurality and creativity, use/re-use/manipulate/bend/ignore/... circumstantial factors in a way that is beneficial for him/her.
  2. Use, or consumption
    • Mediaconsumption = media-absorption (Television!)
    • Passive way of consumption: dislodgment from the product -> no active role from the user
    • Consumption shows itself not in its own products but in an art of using those imposed on it.
  3. Tactics and consumption
    • Popularization/degradation of a culture: partial aspect of the revenge that utilizing tactics take on the power that dominates production
    -> No identification of the user with the product itself: between those two there's a space that offers a wide range of interpretations based on the approach/usage
  4. The act of speaking
    • Problematics of enunciation: enunciation presupposes:
    - an act of speaking
    - the appropriation of language as a tool
    - a certain relational contract with a receiver (real or fictive)
    - an establishment of a present: placement of time
    -> Enunciation (~ use) is a collection of circumstances adherent to the context from which it can be distinguished only by abstraction
    • The act of speaking is at the same time a use of language and an operation performed on it. This model is applicable to many other operations, based on the assumption that all these uses concern consumption
  5. Strategies vs Tactics
    Strategies are able to produce, tabulate and impose spaces, whereas tactics can only use, manipulate and divert them.
    Strategies: a calculation of power relationships that becomes possible as soon as a subject with will and power (institution) can be isolated. Distinguish a place of 'independent' power and will from an environment. (~ politics, military strategy, modern science)
    • A triumph over place and time based on autonomy.
    • Mastery of places through sight: scopic observation of foreign forces makes it possible to predict, run ahead of time by reading a space.
    • A specific type of knowledge, sustained and determined by the power to provide oneself with one's own place. An autonomous power is at the same time the precondition of this knowledge and it determines it's characteristics. It produces itself in and through this knowledge
    Tactics: calculated actions determined by the absence of a proper locus (geometrical space). They are manoeuvres within the enemy's field of vision and within enemy territory.
    • No options of planning (<-> scopic): 'play things by ear', as certain opportunities present themselves.
    • Guerilla-approach: no centralized base for expansion or planning. (~ nomadic, mobility)
    • Make use of cracks in the surveillance of the proprietary powers, take it on by surprise.
    • The art of the weak
    -> The weaker the forces at the disposition of the strategist, the more the strategist will be able to use deception, the more the strategy is transformed into tactics.
    -> A tactic is determined by the absence of power just as strategy is organized by tje postulation of power.
    -> Strategies pin their hopes on the resistance that the establishment of a place offers to the erosion of time, tactics pin their hopes on a clever utilization of time, of the opportunities it presents and of the play that it introduces into the foundations of power. Both ways of acting can be distinguished according to whether they bet on place or on time.
  6. Rhetorics of practice
    • Rhetorics are manipulations of language relative to the occasions. They are intended to seduce, captivate or invert the linguistic position of the adressee.
    • <-> grammar (propriety of terms)
    -> Rhetorics ~ Tactics
    • Clever 'tricks' of the 'weak' within the order established by the 'strong' > applicable to the practice of everyday life (speaking, reading, dwelling, moving about, shopping, cooking,...)
  7. Generalization of strategy and tactics
    The strategic model is defeated by its own success: the proper distinction from 'everything else' has diminished since the proper has become the whole. Tactics are going off their tracks, they are wandering in a space that is becoming more homogeneous. Consumers are transformed into immigrants. The system is too vast to be fixed in one place, but is too constraining to escape from it. Generalization of strategy and generalization of tactics exclude a clear distinction between both.