chapter  2
12 Pages

Michel de Certeau, everyday life and cultural policy studies in education

WithSue Saltmarsh

This chapter considers cultural approaches to policy studies, informed by cultural theorist Michel de Certeau. It argues that cultural approaches to policy analysis need to be grounded in a thorough understanding of the everyday activities and meaning-making practices of those who are the makers, analysts, targets, beneficiaries, implementers and end-users of policy. For each of these, education policy produces meanings, enactments and effects that need to be considered in dialogue with extant and emergent cultural practices. The chapter discusses conceptual tools of culture, practice and policy, and then turns to questions of methodology and the ethical and political implications of Certeau's work for approaches to policy research. As a cultural theorist, Certeau's work is profoundly concerned with the heterogeneous practices of everyday life. He focuses on historiographical, psychoanalytic, anthropological, religious and political writings, as the ground for the methodological imagination from which his analytic work proceeds.