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By Michel de Certeau

Michel de Certeau considers the makes use of to which social illustration and modes of social habit are positioned through contributors and teams, describing the strategies on hand to the typical guy for reclaiming his personal autonomy from the all-pervasive forces of trade, politics, and tradition. In exploring the general public which means of ingeniously defended inner most meanings, de Certeau attracts brilliantly on a huge theoretical literature in analytic philosophy, linguistics, sociology, semiology, and anthropology--to communicate of an apposite use of innovative literature.

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The cautious yet fundamental inversions brought about by consumption in other societies have long been studied. 4 They metaphorized the dominant order: they made it function in another register. They remained other within the system which they assimilated and which assimilated them externally. They diverted it without leaving it. Procedures of consumption maintained their difference in the very space that the occupier was organizing. Is this an extreme example? ' To a lesser degree, the same process can be found in the use made in "popular" milieus of the cultures diffused by the "elites" that produce language.

In that space can thus be revealed, dressed as gods or heroes, the models of good or bad ruses that can be used every day. Moves, not truths, are recounted. i25 It is not certain, as A. Regnier noted, that the homologizing of these functions is coherent, nor, as both Levi-Strauss and Greimas have shown, that the units Propp delimited are stable; but the novelty of Propp's work, which remains important today, lies in the analysis of the tactics for which the tales offer both an inventory and a repertory of combinations, on the basis of elementary units which are not significations or beings, but actions relative to conflictual situations.

Popular" culture is precisely that; it is not a corpus considered as foreign, fragmented in order to be displayed, studied and "quoted" by a system which does to objects what it does to living beings. The progressive partitioning of times and places, the disjunctive logic of specialization through and for work, no longer has an adequate counterpart in the conjunctive rituals of mass communications. This fact cannot become our law. It can be gotten around through departments ((27)) that, "competing" with the gifts of our benefactors, offer them products at the expense of the institution that divides and pays the workers.

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