In Metropolitan Intimacies: An Ethnography on the Poetics of Daily Life, Francisco Cruces examines intimacy and meaning-making in metropolitan residents’ daily lives. An ethnography based on rich micro-stories, Cruces situates life poetics amongst other metropolitan processes in three major cities—Madrid, Montevideo, and Mexico City—to reveal the complex meanings around modern urbanity.
Francisco Cruces is professor of anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED).
Introduction: Something Too Good to Be Fake
Chapter 1. Getting Inspired
Chapter 2. Exploring Intimacy
Chapter 3. Stories of The Self
Chapter 4. A Visit to IKEA
Chapter 5. The Poetics of Dwelling
Conclusion: From Collaboration to Remembrance
Francisco Cruces takes us on a fascinating journey through urban life, in which new forms of intimacy develop, breaking down the traditional polarization of private and public. The rich ethnography—an innovative poetic of daily life—explores the entanglements of seemingly trivial details: body movements, surfacing memories, passing moods, cherished routines. Cruces asks: how is intimacy produced and narrated, as an ambivalent theme in city life? This is a ground-breaking book for understanding the mysteries of everyday life and as well as the role of intimacy in the new regime of urbanity.
In his stunning new book Francisco Cruces shows us where we live. Not the apartments and palaces, but the gestures, stories, practices, and negotiations that make up our metropolitan intimacies. He has written a poetics of our modern art of dwelling and done so through vivid vignettes and reflexive insight. Cruces shows us the modest miracle of how we make the world inhabitable. We are in his debt.
The thesis is original, the argument rigorous, the writing elegant—we are delighted to discover that poetry is not reserved for poets. It emerges with force from the most ordinary moments of everyday life to make our personal world more beautiful. Francisco Cruces succeeds brilliantly in combining the critical function of the social sciences with a vision that helps us live better.
Francisco Cruces captures the authentic yearning beneath consumer society's commodification of coziness. Intimacy emerges as a positive value from the dislocations of contemporary urban life. This book shows that in practice it is an ephemeral achievement, reinforced by the small stories that make it portable. Complementing the public sphere and public space associated with the modern city, these micro-spaces of secure subjectivity are now under siege from the competitive self-making urged by neoliberalism and enabled by social media.