The following chapter is from The PracticeofEveryday Life , in which Michel de Certeau discusses the tactics of apparently powerless consumers - tactics invo lved in such 'ordinary' activities as remembering, telling stories, talking, dwelling, cooking and reading. De Certeau is interested in the ways in which ordinary men and women - as opposed to experts, the clerisy, professionals - are able to transform, to re-use, to reappropriate and even to reinvent the function and form of the product for which they act as apparently passive consumers.
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In terms of reading, de Certeau's ethnographic and sociological investigation of reading tactics seeks to dissolve the distinction between literary and non-literary reading and to suggest ways in which non-professional, non-clerical readings and meanings are constituted. In an evocative metaphor, de Certeau figures reading as an act of 'poaching' to suggest an unauthorized appropriation of the proper, of the property, of texts.
Technology, Culture, and Ethics
For de Certeau, reading involves tactics of wandering, of improvisation: for him, it constitutes an 'ephemeral dance' across textual space, an illicit, even secretive reinvention of the text - reading as resistance. Certeau entered the Society of Jesus hoping to do missionary work in China. In the year of his ordination, Certeau became one of the founders of the journal Christus , with which he would actively be involved for much of his life.
He came to public attention after publishing an article dealing with the May events in France. Certeau went on to teach at several universities in locations as diverse as Geneva , San Diego , and Paris. Through the s and s he produced a string of works that demonstrated his interest in mysticism , phenomenology , and psychoanalysis.
He died in Paris, aged Certeau's most well-known and influential work in the United States has been The Practice of Everyday Life , cited in fields such as rhetoric,   performance studies,  and law. According to Certeau, everyday life is distinctive from other practices of daily existence because it is repetitive and unconscious.
Instead, he attempts to outline the way individuals unconsciously navigate everything from city streets to literary texts. The Practice of Everyday Life distinguishes between the concepts of strategy and tactics. Certeau links "strategies" with institutions and structures of power who are the "producers", while individuals are "consumers" or "poachers," acting in accordance with, or against, environments defined by strategies by using "tactics".
Certeau uses the vantage from the World Trade Center in New York to illustrate the idea of a synoptic, unified view. By contrast, the walker at street level moves in ways that are tactical and never fully determined by the plans of organizing bodies, taking shortcuts in spite of the strategic grid of the streets. Certeau's argument is that everyday life works by a process of poaching on the territory of others, using the rules and products that already exist in culture in a way that is influenced, but never wholly determined, by those rules and products.
According to Andrew Blauvelt who relies on the work of Certeau in his essay on design and everyday life: . You also may like to try some of these bookshops , which may or may not sell this item. Separate different tags with a comma.
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Certeau, Michel de. Published Oxford ; Malden, Mass. Language English. Uniform Title Selections. Author Certeau, Michel de. Series Blackwell readers Subjects Certeau, Michel de. Certeau, Michel de, Language and culture. Religion and culture. Summary "This volume brings together, for the first time, a variety of texts from Certeau's book and journal publications that have proved important in the various disciplines where Certeau has had an influence. The Reader as a whole reflects the interdisciplinary nature of Certeau's work, which draws on history, historiography, psychology, politics, philosophy, semiotics, ethnography, and theology to shape a critique of cultures past and present.
Other Times: Historiography.
Writings and Histories. History: Science and Fiction Pt. Other Cities: Cultural Politics. A Symbolic Revolution. The Social Architecture of Knowledge.
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Michel de Certeau Reading as Poaching | Readers and Reading | Taylor & Francis Group
Other Beliefs: Theology. Notes Includes bibliographical references p. Other Form Online version Certeau, Michel de. Certeau reader.
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