1st Edition

Reading the Everyday

By Joe Moran Copyright 2005
    224 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In an ever-growing field of study, this is a major contribution to one of the key areas in cultural studies and cultural theory – the spaces, practices and mythologies of our everyday culture.

    Drawing on the work of such continental theorists as Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, Marc Augé and Siegfried Kracauer, Joe Moran explores the concrete sites and routines of everyday life and how they are represented through political discourse, news media, material culture, photography, reality TV shows, CCTV and much more.

    Unique in his focus of the under-explored, banal aspects of everyday culture, including office life, commuting, traffic and mass housing, Moran re-evaluates conventional notions of everyday life in cultural studies, and shows that analysing such ‘boring’ phenomena can help make sense of cultural and social change.

    This book is interdisciplinary in its approach and covers many different areas including visual culture, cultural geography, material culture, and cultural history as well as the key areas of cultural studies and sociology.

    Students from all these subjects will find this clearly written and lively work an invaluable study resource.


    Preface and acknowledgments

    List of Illustrations

    1. Introduction: waiting, cultural studies and the quotidian 1

    Reading the bus stop 4

    Cultural studies and everyday life 10

    Everyday life and the public sphere 21

    Rethinking everyday life 29

    Ways of reading 35

    2. Workspace: office life and commuting 46

    The rise of the Angestellten 47

    Exploring office space 57

    The fall of the middle manager 66

    Ethnographies of commuting 79

    On the Underground 87

    3. Urban space: the myths and meanings of traffic 100

    Myths of the road 101

    The cost of congestion 111

    The secret history of the traffic light 118

    The parking wars 127

    Watching the pedestrians 138

    4. Non-places: supermodernity and the everyday 153

    The road to nowhere 154

    Mapping Mondeo land 165

    Roadside cultures 175

    Imagining the new town 188

    Wish we weren’t here: boring postcards 203

    5. Living space: housing, the market and the everyday 211

    Houses and the pseudo-everyday 213

    Location, location, location 219

    The limits of tower-block chic 229

    The politics of housebuilding 236

    House viewings 248

    Reading the market 260

    6. Conclusion: the everyday and cultural change 267

    Notes 279

    Bibliography 290


    Moran, Joe