Everydayness traditionally stresses the repetitive, homogenous nature in everyday life that is suggestive of the ordinary. With a large focus on its value, this conception leads Lefebvre to question why the concept of everydayness would not reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary. I believe this is asked under the notion that everyday life, as a construct of social structure, facilitates a sense of desire for the extraordinary as non-real, resulting in the treatment of the ordinary as insignificant and unworthy of attention. The following drivers establish this desire fabricated by society – repetition and the social movements associated with modernity.
Lefebvre first calls to the problem of planned repetition constituted by the controlled sector of life, with an emphasis on everydayness imposing boredom. In my opinion, this monotony suppresses the importance and capability of the everyday while emphasizing its commonality. As Lefebvre states, the days follow one another and resemble each other, this routinized form of life mimicking programmed sequences . In this view, an individual’s daily life is reduced to functions that are ultimately controlled by the structure of society. Unfortunately, this leads to the search for highly specialized substance outside of the routine, inhibiting our ability to realize the potential of the ordinary. However, removing this utopian association with the extraordinary, the residual components of this routine, the ordinary, may contain raw material holding hidden wealth. To answer Lefebvre’s plea, the everyday should thus be considered as a site of the actual and the possible.
Under the Lefebvrean construct, the everyday is also covered by a surface of modernity due to the seduction of mass culture and the associated social movements. I agree with Lefebvre, as this results in a false deliverance of alienated desire that always leaves something to be desired. This is supported by the deep cultural structure embedded in media and society in which attention is diverted from the everyday, but centered on spectacles of non-everyday, such as winning the lottery. This creates space between organically encoded needs and motivating desires, where desire is then reduced to consumer demand manipulated by producers. Minimizing daily-lived experiences in comparison to these spectacles, society creates a veil of unimportance to these daily occurrences that add to an individual’s core inability to identify the extraordinary in the ordinary that Lefebvre addresses. Instead, the everyday life should be viewed as a primary arena for desired change, a starting point I believe Lefebvre wanted to introduce to the reader.
The extraordinary revealed in the ordinariness of the everyday establishes the most resistant moments possibly facilitating real transformation. However, identifying these moments in the midst of everyday and tapping into their potential requires concentrated effort. Lefebvre thus proposes the reconstruction of everyday life with the human subject as an active creative force, breaking the everyday life that is thoroughly routinized and influenced by mass culture as a product of social structure. The everyday should instead be analyzed as a significant phenomenon, intertwined with the extraordinary and the ordinary, to accomplish the ultimate goal of societal reinvention.