Les structures de sentiment et la critique de la vie quotidienne

Highmore, Ben (2022) Les structures de sentiment et la critique de la vie quotidienne. Revue des Sciences Humaines, 345. ISSN 0035-2195

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In Britain, in the 1960s and 70s, an ordinary ‘structure of feeling’ emerged that directed some of the democratic energy that was responsible for the emergence of the welfare state towards taste formations that transformed ideal domestic environments (and real ones of course) into a material landscape that was characterised by informality, private sociability and an individualised sense of freedom. Exemplary in performing this transformation was the taste formation that I want to name after the shop Habitat (it was called Conran in the United States), which, by the time Margaret Thatcher came to power, was in most large towns and cities in the UK, as well as France, Canada, US and Japan. In Japan it was included as part of the Seibu department store; in France it had a flagship store (which is still in operation) as part of the Montparnasse Tower in Paris. Habitat was the domestic aesthetic of the new middle classes in Britain. It was open, informal, it mixed the old and the new. It took simplified modernist designs from Scandinavia and Japan and mixed it with a Mediterranean sense of convivial ways of eating and socialising. In many ways it was left leaning, but this was a new form of liberalism of the left: newly private and laissez faire. It didn’t cause the emergence of neoliberalism as a cultural form, but it did furnish it with an environment where ‘freedom’ has a flavour and tactility, and where there was little room for equality and collectivity as the central political value. To persuade you that this characterisation is useful for understanding changes in everyday life in Britain in the 1960s and 70s and beyond I need to pursue a short theoretical journey.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Structures of Feeling, Raymond Williams
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 11:32
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2023 02:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/104355

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