A Critique of Michel de Certeau’s ‘Walking in the City’ to Locate Elements Concerning Dichotomy of Power and Resistance

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Farooq Shah , Sania Gul, Dr. Mahrukh Shakir


This paper attempts to highlight the opposing dichotomies presented in the book, The Practice of Everyday Life where Michel de Certeau offers a detailed recount of how urban sprawl becomes an impediment for the citizen living there, particularly the Mahathan city in which the labyrinthine ways and buildings turn out to be an embarrassing administrative experience for the authorities controlling the movement of the inhabitants. The paper also finds out how city authorities make rules and implement them, and how the dwellers violate and infringe these rules. Also, the third part of the paper concerns with the appropriation and values attributed to the city and pavements by the citizens. The paper owes its debt for research to the ‘Planning Theory’ presented by Jill Grant (1994). The study is qualitative in nature and employs Adam Smith’s city economic plans to write this paper. The study finds out that no matter how strict the control of the city administration may be, citizens have their own ways to trespass and dismiss these overarching rules.

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