Reading the Everyday
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