Academic journal article Outlines : Critical Practice Studies

Routines and Concerns in Conduct of Everyday Life

Academic journal article Outlines : Critical Practice Studies

Routines and Concerns in Conduct of Everyday Life

Article excerpt

Introduction

In this article I explore the concept of everyday life, specifically routines, real life and concerns through a theoretical and empirical discussion of the Danish/German critical psychological conceptualization 'conduct of everyday life' (Holzkamp, 1998, 2013). The empirical observations are drawn from analyses of how depression-diagnosed individuals' conduct of everyday life influenced the interplay between their participation in patient education groups and their participation in everyday life.

In critical psychology Conduct of everyday life reflects the actions and social selfunderstanding by which individuals actively organise their everyday lives based on the individuals' own life interests. The concept is a basic part of Danish-German critical psychology and it is further developed and used by several scholars, e.g. Borg (2002), Dreier (2003, 2008, 2011) and Mørck (2003, 2014). This approach tends to bring the conduct of everyday life to the foreground when dealing with intervention in order to understand processes of change across contexts of action, thus most dissertations in Denmark between 2006-2010 with a Danish-German critical psychological approach explore how participation in an institutional context becomes part of the participant's everyday life (Kousholt & Thomsen 2013). In my dissertation, I used the concept "Conduct of everyday life" to understand learning processes where the depressiondiagnosed individuals' changed their conduct of everyday life. The most prominent learning process was about learning to take care of themselves by creating breaks in everyday life. It could be breaks from duties, for instead to do something pleasurable. It could be breaks to establish balance between activities and rest (Hybholt, 2015).

Inspirational work outside critical psychology

Before beginning my analysis I would like to draw attention to other theoretical approaches exploring interventions and changes in everyday life. Routines, repetition and meaning are important issues in the understanding of everyday life. In the timegeographical framework, everyday life is understood as all activities during the day: "everything that is done is defined as an activity, and it takes time even to do 'nothing special'" (Ellegård, 1999, p. 169). Most of an individual's activities are done in a routine that is repeated daily, and therefore not something they need to think about (Ellegård & Nordell, 1997). Examples of repeated activities are paid work, household chores and other necessary activities, and it is assumed that individuals have activities they prefer to do or not to do (Ellegård, 1999), thus activites are qualitative different seen from the subjective perspective. Korvela & Keskunen (2008) use cultural-historical activity theory to analyse historical change in everyday life related to work and home, as well as to analyse the experience of conflicts between home and work among contemporary, working families with small children. They analysed everyday life one day at a time and understand it as the process of an activity. They find that families construct their everyday lives in a structure of 4-6 sequences which they follow in a particular order. They also show how families struggle with lack of time, and how the mothers struggle with working and at the same time being the mother they want to be. The individuals use "their personal and collaborative skills as a means to mold their everyday objects" (Korvela & Keskunen, 2008, p. 263). Thus, individuals actively organise their conduct of everyday life in order to reconcile the different demands in different contexts of action concerned with being the mother they want to be. In phenomenological everyday life research, taken-forgrantedness is seen as the fundamental condition in everyday life. Taken-for-grantedness is seen as all the unperceived activities, such as routines and rituals. Routine activities are seen analytically as being on a different level than the conscious actions that give meaning to everyday life and the social institutions structuring humans' activities (Christensen, 2009). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.