Conflicts, situated inequality and politics of everyday life

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This article discusses theoretical challenges in conceptualising the dialectical relationship between historical conditions and the situated interplay between people in concrete everyday practice. The concept of conflict may help us move beyond tendencies within psychology to separate history and situated practice, structure and activity, and micro- and macroprocesses – and to regard social life as unambiguous or as governed through hegemony. Research on the everyday social life of schools describes societal conflicts about education and how school children deal with unequal conditions when handling the conflictuality of their everyday lives. Analyses of coordination and conflicts between various parties (e.g. children, parents, teachers and psychologists) elucidate connections between intersubjective efforts to make things work in everyday practice and historical struggles related to the school as a social institution. Concepts are required that enable understanding of these processes as historical and political, driven by intersubjectivity related to concrete dilemmas, connected to personal and collaborative conduct of everyday life – processes we term the politics of everyday life. From a social practice perspective, we discuss how to grasp the ways in which people constitute the conditions for each other in a situated interplay in which they deal with common problems and – through these activities – also produce history.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture & Psychology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)591-611
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Conduct of everyday life
  • Dialectics
  • Inequality
  • Conflict
  • Everyday politics
  • School life
  • Corridor casework
  • Social practice
  • Participation
  • Collaboration
  • participation
  • social practice
  • dialectics
  • school life
  • inequality
  • everyday politics
  • collaboration
  • corridor casework
  • conflict

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