The beautiful game and the proto‐aesthetics of the everyday

Cultural Values 4 (3):279-297 (2000)
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This article provides a critique of the postmodernist notion that there has been of recent years a dissolution of the divide between aesthetics and practical activities, between Art and Life. It does so by considering the game of soccer from a phenomenological viewpoint, which shows that the game possesses intrinsically ‘aesthetic’ qualities. The conditions of possibility of such qualities are understood by introducing the idea of the ‘proto‐aesthetics’ of soccer and other mundane phenomena. By considering the proto‐aesthetics of the quotidian we argue that recent changes in the nature of practical life should not be regarded as due to ‘aestheticisation’ but rather as springing from processes of commodification.



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