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Rhythm 4. The axis 5. The P wave 6. The PR interval 7. The Q wave 8. The QRS complex 9. The ST segment The T wave The QT interval The U wave Artefacts on the ECG Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators Ambulatory ECG recording Exercise ECG testing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation H ighmore makes an analogy with the detective story, suggesting that we investigate the 'mysteries' of seemingly innocuous social behaviour to see what lies beneath.

The second technique is to search for underlying rules, routines and regularities in the behaviour you observe, insofar as these tell us something about how the settings are socially organized. This means going beyond the surface of the immediately observable, digging deeper to identifY the meanings behind it.

How do the specific daily activities of indio viduals combine to create and sustain a sense of order, stability and predictability in their local worlds, and how do these worlds combine to form a larger scale culture? Why do we have rules for different situations, how were they established, and why do we most of us, most of the time follow them? Deviant cases can be as interesting to study as normative Copyrighted material 6 What is Everyday Life? Figure 1. What are the rules ojwaiting in public places?

Some social rules only become visible when they are broken, because they are so implicit: this is evident in subtle faux pas, such as misjudging a dress code or addressing someone too informally. Other rules are mOre explicitly acknowledged, but become more visible when broken, for example the noisy neighbour who plays music late at night. Rule-breaking acts are significant not only in terms of their implications for the individual losing face, feeling ashamed, making amends , but also in terms of the social reactions they evoke. By identifying the rule-breaker as a deviant individual, the behaviour is safely contained and disassociated from the group, which becomes more cohesive.

Throughout the book, we shall consider how people respond to rule-breaking acts, which values are brought to light, and how social order is restored. What is Everyday life? Rituals and routines refer to descriptions o[ specific practices, codes of behaviour, habits and other exam pies that serve to illustrate the theoretical arguments. They are designed to 'make the familiar strange' and encourage analytical thinking about how the everyday world is performed, re produced and experienced.

Social order refers to the underlying structures of rules and expectations that organize these practices. Firstly, however, chapter 2 reviews some of the key theoretical perspectives on everyday life, such as Symbolic Interactionism, ethnomethodology and phenomenology, Structural Functionalism and Cultural Studies. The remainder of the book applies these theories to a range of substantive topic areas. I n chapter 4, we explore the meaning of the home and the importance of domestic routines in our everyday lives.


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How do we Copyrighted material 8 What is Everyday Life? Why is gardening important and home decorating such a popular pastime? Chapter 5 considers time and scheduling as a pervasive feature of everyday life, from the temporal order imposed by clock time to the ways in which we try to subvert this, by making, spending and wasting time.


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  7. How do our daily schedules impose structure on our lives and regulate our behaviour? I n chapter 6, we look at practices of eating and drinking, insofar as these are socially shaped: why do we often eat together, and what purpose does this serve? What constitutes a 'proper meal' as opposed to a 'snack', and where do such ideas come from? What are the rules of drinking alcohol, and how does the non-drinker challenge others' expectations? Chapter 7 considers health, illness and disability as factors that affect our experience of everyday life.

    What has previ. But is this simply a matter of physical impairment, or is it a]so about the attitudes of others and the design of the social world?

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    In this chapter, we question how people decide that they are ill, how they experience their conditions, and how appearing 'different' can evoke some interesting social reactions. Chapter 8 focuses on shopping and the 'consuming' nature of everyday life. Are these orderly, structured processes? How and why do we make shopping lists, or deviate from them? This chapter also considers the significance of the gift exchange, which helps to cement social relationships: what are the rules of buying gifts, and what do we expect in return? How do we use breaks, treats and other rewards to punctuate high points of the day, week or year?

    Each method is discussed in relation to empirical studies mentioned earlier in the book, which readers are encouraged to revisit and evaluate. What does each one reveal about the social world that cannot be gleaned from other sources? Why is it important to listen to the voices of 'ordinary folk' as well as to read officia] accounts?

    This chapter is intended to help students who are about to embark upon social research projects Copyrighted material What is Everyday life? Throughout the book, we shall remain focused on the question of how the practices found in everyday settings help to create, sustain and reproduce the social world. The substantive topics covered in each chapter are explored in terms of our three themes: social order, structures and underlying rules; interactive rituals and routines; and challenges to the taken for granted.

    Put together, these help us to see how we can make sense of our everyday lives, and why it is important to do so. Copyrighted material 2 Theorizing the Mundane In this chapter we examine some of the key theoretical perspectives that inform our understanding of everyday life. These theories cut across the disciplines of the social sciences, from psychology to phi. The latter distinction is often overstated as a simple dichotomy Scott , but in fact there are many points of overlap between the two branches of theory - particularly in relation to our three themes of social order, rituals and routines, and challenging the taken for granted.

    Accordingly, this chapter is divided into three sections , but the theories presented within each should be read as interlinked and complementary. Readers are encouraged to use this chapter as a toolkit in conjunction with the methodological toolkit presented in chapter 10 from which you may select the most appropriate theory, or range of theories, for the topic at hand.

    Although you may find some approaches more palatable than others my own preference is for dramaturgy and Symbolic I nteractionism , each perspective offers its own unique insights into different dimensions of social life. We begin with the questions of social order raised by psychoanalysis, social psychology, Structural Functionalism and anthropology, then explore the Significance of rituals and routines through the theories of phenomenology, ethnomethodology and Symbolic Interactionism.

    In subsequent chapters, we shall return to these theories, using one or more to investigate the substantive topics that comprise the subject matter of everyday life. This stemmed from Freud's topographical model of the human mind being divided into three distinct layers, or levels of consciousness.

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    At the tip of the iceberg was our conscious mind, through which we perform social actions with an awareness of their implications. The effects ofthis upon social life were explored in many of Freud's works, induding The Psychopathology of Everyday Life a , Beyond the Pleasure Principle b [] and Civilization and its Discontents Freud wrote about three competing forces within the personality: the id demanded instant gratification of our appetites for love, aggression, sex, and so on; the ego was a voice of reason, which recognized the constraints of living alongside others and with limited resources; and the superego acted as a moral guard.

    Everyday life involved a constant battle between these forces, as people tried to reconcile the pleasure principle what we want to do with the reality principle what we can and should do. Related to this is the concept of 'civilization': the process by which the raw and wild emotions of the unconscious mind come to be 'tamed' by our experiences of the social world. For example, in chapter 3, we consider how strong feelings of lustful passion have been repackaged into the idea of romantic love.

    Negative emotions such as envy, rage and anxiety may also have been 'civilized' as they are channelled into more socially acceptable forms of expression, such as football fandom or celebrity worship. I n chapter 6 we see how Norbert Elias 1 took this Freudian concept further with his notion of the civilizing process. He questioned how and why the need to 'civilize' our primitive instincts came about, and what social purposes these codes of etiquette served.

    Freud believed that socially unacceptable thoughts and feelings would be repressed into the unconscious, where they could be kept hidden, but at the expense of one's mental and emotional wellbeing. Copyrighted material 12 Theorizing the Mundane I n Civilization and its Discontents, Freud [ warned against the dangers of restricting our most intense unconscious urges, such as those for sex and for aggression, insofar as they would inevitably leak out in one way or another.

    I n his clinical work, Freud sought to demonstrate how some repressed feelings were expressed through 'neurotic' symptoms of anxiety, depression and obsession. Repression was one of several defence mechanisms that Freud identified as ways in which we seek to manage our unconscious urges and survive in civilized society. Other defence mechanisms can be seen as neutral or even positive in their effects upon social life. Displacement, for example, may involve redirecting aggressive instincts away from people and onto objects or activities, such as extreme sports.

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    One of the most interesting and pro-social defences that we use in everyday life is humour: telling jokes can help us to deal with certain feelings that cannot be consciously acknowledged, such as extreme grief or terror. We sometimes talk about having a 'gallows humour' that enables us to cope with difficult life experiences, and this of course also oils the wheels of social interaction. Social psychology One of many branches of its discipline, social psychology involves the study of how the mind is shaped by its social context. From this perspective, the social world is understood as an external environment that impacts upon the individual: other people are effectively 'stimuli' to which we react and, in turn, our responses comprise stimuli in their social worlds.

    Experiencing everyday life is therefore a matter of encountering and dealing with these stimuli, by processing the information they provide.