Faculty Publications

Title

A hundred ways of beginning: The politics of everyday life

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Alienation, Arendt, Everyday life, Lefebvre, Politics

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Polity

Volume

41

Issue

4

First Page

514

Last Page

535

Abstract

Everyday life is political in that it takes place within the context of human-made conditions that are shaped by collective normative judgments. However, everyday life may seem apolitical since its characteristic activities tend to be performed routinely and aim in part at meeting physical needs, generating feelings of naturalness. This tendency is exacerbated by a late modern, capitalist pattern of the persons, practices, products, and spaces of everyday life appearing in isolation from one another, as if they had lives of their own and occurred spontaneously. This fragmentation or alienation exacerbates thoughtlessness and autonomism or nonresponsiveness to events in everyday lifea pattern that is particularly troubling in a U.S. political context marked by citizen apathy and fatalism. This article shares the concern with thoughtlessness and autonomism with Hannah Arendt, but applies that concern in ways Arendt herself did not. © 2009 Northeastern Political Science Association.

Original Publication Date

10-1-2009

DOI of published version

10.1057/pol.2009.9

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