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Everyday Experience and Community Development Practice

Dave Beck, Rod Purcell


This article explores the potential to apply what is generally known as ‘theories of everyday life’ and psychogeography to understanding how the experience of place affects individuals concept of self and their position within the world. We suggest that community development practice can become over focused on the practicalities of organizing, at the expense of understanding the daily life experience of individuals and communities. If community development practitioners applied an analysis based on the theories and experiences of everyday life they could better facilitate individuals to work collectively for personal and social change. The article explores the basic ideas of everyday life and psychogeography. We then identify a methodology for using these ideas in community development practice and provide an experimental example of such an analysis set in Las Vegas. Finally we discuss the potential for community development workers of linking such an analysis to the work of Freire and the ideas of Gramsci to increase the effectiveness of their practice. 

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