Who decides what the everyday life is? One can describe a practice and, in view of its regular performance by the individuals under scrutiny, posit that it inscribes itself in their everyday life. Yet one doesn’t know what they themselves consider as everyday life, nor the importance and value they attribute to it. In order to tackle this issue, this article investigates one case thoroughly: the odours in the rue de la Rousselle, Bordeaux, from 1901 to 1903. One tenant was annoyed by the stench emanating from a neighbouring building and lodged a complaint. The odours, related to salted cod, emanated from a shop selling colonial goods. To appraise the degree of nuisance, the magistrates did not resort to olfactory sensitivities. They established that these odours were integral part of the neighbourhood’s everyday life. This case study thus offers insights into understanding that everyday life is first and foremost a category whereby the actors shape their lives. It is thus possible to produce history with the everyday life.
- everyday life