de Certeau is often considered to be the theorist of everyday life par excellence. This book provides an unrivalled critical introduction to de Certeau's work and influence and looks at his key ideas and asks how should we try to understand him in relation to theories of modern culture and society. Ian Buchanan demonstrates how de Certeau was influenced by Lacan, Merleau-Ponty and Greimas and the meaning of de Certeau's notions of `strategy', `tactics', `place' and `space' are clearly described. The book argues that de Certeau died before developing the full import of his work for the study of culture and convincingly, it tries to complete or imagine the directions that de Certeau's work would have taken, had he lived.



Speculation and calculation induce us to move beyond the world of sensible reality; they reveal to us that this world is bounded by enabling us to look at its boundaries from the outside.

Georg Simmel, On Individuality and Social Forms

Born in 1925 in Chambéry, de Certeau did not study theology straight away, nor enter the order that was to become his life immediately upon attaining majority; rather he first of all obtained degrees in classics and philosophy at the universities of Grenoble, Lyon and Paris.1 He didn't in fact enter the Jesuits until 1950, and wasn't ordained until 1956 (it is said he joined the Jesuits in the hope of working in China, but alas world events conspired against him and China turned out to ...

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