From the driveway mechanic to the backyard gardener, many diverse people are "doing it themselves" by building or repairing the stuff of their daily lives without the aid of experts. Do It Yourself uses Habermas’s colonization of the lifeworld as a frame and mobilizes Marx’s concepts of alienation and mystification to examine how social behaviors can be a conscious reply to a complex and fast-moving world, a nostalgia for simpler times past, or a just an economic impulse. Each main chapter is anchored by an extended empirical example: back-to-the-land, home-schooling, and self-government.

chapter I|10 pages

A Good Idea, in Th eory

chapter II|16 pages

Home and Food

chapter III|14 pages

School and Work

chapter IV|16 pages

Government and Media

chapter V|3 pages

Conclusion: Th e Search for Control