Importance Of Culture In Understanding Everyday Culture

1355 Words 5 Pages
In what ways does history help us understand everyday cultures?
History is an invaluable resource in providing context, by highlighting enduring ideologies such as gender, politics and power relations, and tracing its effects on everyday cultural experiences. In this essay, concepts of everydayness, politics and power and gender ideologies are discussed as methods through which history provides assistance in understanding everyday cultures.
Raymond Williams (1965) refers to cultures as a “whole way of life – including and most importantly, our own” while Ellen Rooney (Storey 1996) view culture not “a ‘canon’ or ‘tradition’ but as the embodiment and site of antagonistic relations of domination and subordination, that is as a productive networks
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Lefebvre highlights the sudden importance of the everyday, dating from the 19th century, as an object of critical reflection and representation in cultural literature and art.
Lefebvre further points to the impact of capitalism and industrialisation on human existence and perceived reality, and further links the history of industrial capitalism and the rise of commodity culture to 19th century urban human existence producing modern experiences of uniformity and repetitivity. This view is explored by Alvin Gouldner (Lewis 1975), who states that the rapidly changing everydayness created awareness of mundane experiences, while disappearing experiences of everydayness forced new and traditional forms into
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Lefebvre (1984) acknowledges that everyday life “weighs heaviest on women” (as well as on children, the working class and other marginalised groups) yet Lefebvre also asserts that women are not capable of understanding the everydayness they embody, disparaging women who avoid the everyday cultural expectations placed upon them by asserting that women’s protests against gender ideology are “clumsily formulated, directionless claims.” This particular claim is surprising, as earlier sections of the same publication, Lefebvre points to women as being startlingly aware and conscious of poverty, the endlessness of want, object of history and society but simultaneously the subject and foundation, and as fundamental agents of historical transformative struggle against dominant ideologies and everyday cultures of the less-privileged (Moore

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