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Books  >>  Philosophy

Henri Lefebvre

Foundations for a Sociology of the Everyday

Henri Lefebvre Foundations For A Sociology Of The Everyday
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Biographical note:

Henri Lefebvre (1901–1991), former resistance fighter and professor of sociology at Strasbourg and Nanterre, was a member of the French Communist Party from 1928 until his expulsion in 1957. He was the author of sixty books on philosophy, sociology, politics, architecture and urbanism.

Country of final manufacture:

US

Main description:

Henri Lefebvre’s three-volume Critique of Everyday Life is perhaps the richest, most prescient work by one of the twentieth century’s greatest philosophers. The first volume presented an introduction to the concept of everyday life. Written twenty years later, this second volume attempts to establish the necessary formal instruments for analysis, and outlines a series of theoretical categories within everyday life such as the theory of the semantic field and the theory of moments.

The moment at which the book appeared—1961—was significant both for France and for Lefebvre himself: he was just beginning his career as a lecturer in sociology at Strasbourg, and then at Nanterre, and many of the ideas which were influential in the events leading up to 1968 are to be found in this critique. In its impetuous, often undisciplined prose, the reader may catch a glimpse of how charismatic a lecturer Lefebvre must have been.

Review quote:

“Henri Lefebvre was the last great classical philosopher ... The concept of ‘everyday life’ was one of [his] ideas: now that it has been fruitfully disseminated through any number of thought modes, from cultural studies to the new urbanism, it behoves us to return to the source, in this first, prophetic postwar statement.”—Fredric Jameson


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