The Practice of Everyday Life: Living and Cooking

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

I ordered The Practice of Everyday Life: Volume 2: Living and Cooking (1998) by Michel de Certeau, Luce Giard, and Pierre Mayol as a companion to de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life. This second volume seemed to be more aligned with my research interests and topic, as I read both of these books for my upcoming Ph. D. comprehensive exams. I enjoyed reading the final section of this book, written by Giard, which focused on cooking. There I found the most interest for me as a scholar.

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Giard researched the kitchen in a French village. She conducted interviews with women there and used de Certeau’s ideas about everyday practices to ground her research. She found that cooking is a complicated activity, one that requires skill and attention and “doing.” Many theorists talk about learning by doing and attempt to vindicate the everyday, mundane, and ordinary by defending its…

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