Strategies of the Powerless: Michel de Certeau and the Perrugue

Rob Van Craenenburg, University of Ghent

La perrugue is a French idiomatic expression meaning work one does for oneself in the guise of work done for an employer, as when one photocopies personal material on the office account, or the like. In The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau construes the idea as a socio-cultural trope of sorts, in which the socially weak (e.g., those who must work for others) make use of the socially strong (e.g., the bosses) by carving out an independent domain within the circumstances imposed upon them from above.

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