Study Guide for de Certeau .docx

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Claire Kramsh

11. de Certeau Key terms: Tactics – a calculated action determined by the absence of a proper focus or place o Referred to as the “art of the weak” o Use the structure imposed by strategies, but they are not meant to overthrow strategies. o Tactics capitalize on time and the unexpected as they take over the space of strategies (characteristic of unpredictability and adaptability): Because they are not defined by the laws of their place, they are dependent on the possibilities offered by the circumstances. They “can only use, manipulate, and divert these spaces”(30), “a mobility that must accept the chance offering of the moment, and seize on the wing the possibilities that offer themselves at any given moment.” Strategies - strategies are “the calculation (or manipulation) of power relationships that becomes possible as soon as a subject with will and power can be isolated” (36) o Used by people who are in a position of power –power to isolate a space that can serve its own objectives, to calculate relationships; work within the system to reinforce their power and the already established power relations o Emphasis on space over time –a space that practices “a specific type of knowledge, one sustained and determined by the power to provide oneself with one’s own place.” o Outlined by three properties: triumph of place over time, mastery of places through sight, and the power of knowledge. **Distinction is between the triumph of place, over time for strategies and vice versa for tactics Tactics try to subvert the system and capitalize on time. (pg. 35-37 for reference) Making-do- using what you have in a way other than its intended purpose, under the circumstances, to benefit yourself; working within a system, in a foreign territory, to your own advantage and not for the initial objective o Ways of making-do “intervene in a field which regulates them at a first level but introduces into it a way of turning it to their advantage that obeys their rules and constitutes something like a second level interwoven into the first.” (de Certeau 30) o Invisible and unpredictable; rely on memory and analogy; doesn’t have their own proper space o The actor does not have intentions of revolutionizing the system but is always looking for ways to get around the system by adding “a degree of plurality and creativity.” o results in an unrestrained field of actions with “their own formality and inventiveness.” o Sensible logic of making-do: use time against space to benefit from a system that wasn’t inherently built for those certain benefits. o Analogy of “la perruque”: “wig,” a worker’s own work is disguised (hide true intentions) as work for his employer by rearranging the given space for its intended purposes. o “Bricolage”- taking odds and ends and making something with those things; manipulating an existing structure to get something done, users rearrange the given for their own purposes De Certeau says that both langue and parole need to be taken into account Important Quotes: “As in management, every strategic rationalization seeks first of all to distinguish its own place, that is , the pla
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