Bennett, Tony and Silva, Elizabeth
(2004). Everyday life and contemporary culture.
In: Silva, Elizabeth and Bennett, Tony eds.
Contemporary Culture and Everyday Life.
Durham, UK: Routledge, pp. 1–20.
About the book: At the beginning of the twenty-first century the everyday lives of people in the industrialized western world are being changed by shifts in traditional assumptions about gender roles, power dynamics, sexualities, styles of work, personal relationships and life trajectories. The circumstances of individuals in their homes, communities and work are being transformed through the development of increasingly flexible arrangements, personal wants, and new ways of talking about these.
The boundaries of 'right' and 'wrong' have been debated in new experiments of daily living, while a unique degree of choice is exerted. But the complexity of these changes is often masked in the normal daily routines of the everyday. As a result, the category of everyday life is enjoying something of a renaissance in contemporary social thought, and the theme of the everyday provides a particularly useful 'contact zone' between feminist perspectives, sociology and cultural studies. Drawing on these strands of inquiry, this book focuses on the changing practices and meanings of daily living, particularly in order to understand how the current fluidity of everyday life practices relates to performing gender, sexuality, caring, 'racializing', ageing, work and other significant axes of everyday situations.
The chapters consider these issues in the context of the intermeshing of technologies with daily life, the unstable and globalizing nature of work, and the shifting meanings of identity and place. Are there new 'everyday cultures' emerging? Social theory has talked about a new culture of intimacy, of work, of caring, or of gender. What are these new cultures and what is 'contemporary culture'? Contemporary Culture and Everyday Life contributes a range of rich and detailed studies, focused on specific aspects of the everyday, which address these emerging cultures and consider the significance of the category of the everyday in both earlier and contemporary social theory.
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