Practice theory as flat ontology (2024)

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Sociology of social practices: Theory or modus operandi of empirical research? Forthcoming in: Littig, B. et al. (2017): Methodological Reflexions on Practice-Oriented Theories, Springer International

Robert Schmidt

Practice sociology seeks to overcome the ingrained academic division of labour between blind empirical research without theory and 'scholastic' theory that immunises itself against being empirically questioned. To meet such demands, this chapter proposes a procedure of praxeologising, which combines empirical perspectives and theoretical tools within stimulating epistemic arrangements. This procedure closely ties in with praxeological epistemology, which subsequently is exemplified using three steps. First, by referring to Bourdieu's praxeology, this study reflects on the differences between the practices of theorising and the logic of practice within the fields of activities to be studied and theorised. Second, it is illustrated how the procedure of praxeologising can employ a heuristics of game playing to focus on the tacit, bodily dimensions of social events and participants' shared feel and sense of the game. Third, it is pointed out that to master the overtly public nature of social practices, praxeology particularly should work out applicative procedures and methods derived from observation.

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The Routledge Handbook of Social Change

Practices of Social Change: Approaching political action through practice theory

2022 •

Luke Yates

Theories of practice are a diverse body of work with broad influences and application. They are increasingly used to study social transformation, particularly from the perspective of everyday life. They challenge received understandings of agency, path dependency and continuity, highlighting habit, materiality, competences, and contingency. Application of practice-based approaches to studying change has been uneven, but theoretical advances suggest promising avenues for integrating the insights that the approaches allow into questions of governance, advocacy, activism, and other modes of collective contentious action. This chapter provides a short overview of theories of practice and surveys their use in relation to theories of social change. It demonstrates, based on recent social theoretical developments and a range of compatible and 'friendly' theories from social movement studies, fruitful cross-fertilisation which links together different theoretical resources for approaching different forms of change. Developing this dialogue further has the potential to address theoretical problems in the study of everyday life and socio-political transformation, and their articulation together. We close by outlining some areas which future research might explore in advancing this agenda.

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Science & Technology Studies

"O the practices, they are a-changin'". Review of E. Shove, M. Pantzar and M. Watson "The Dynamcis of Social Practice: Everyday Life and How It Changes". London: Sage, 2012.

Katja Schönian

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How to Conduct a Practice‐Based Study: Problems and Methods; Practice Theory, Work and Organization: An Introduction; The Dynamics of Social Practice: Everyday Life and How It Changes

Iben Jensen

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Management Learning

Introduction: The Critical Power of the `Practice Lens

2009 •

Stefano Gherardi

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Socio-Informatics: A Practice-based Perspective on the Design and Use of IT Artifacts (Chapter 3)

'Practice theory': A critique

2018 •

Kjeld Schmidt

Areas of research such as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Information Systems (IS), and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) are interdisciplinary by virtue of their particular research questions and destined to venture beyond the conceptual and methodological sanctuaries of institutionalized disciplines. Researchers in such areas therefore face a constant temptation to import conceptual innovations or theories that might make it less taxing and troublesome to venture outside the disciplinary habitat. In the case of practice-centered computing, so-called practice theory, developed over the last few decades in the philosophy of sociology by Bourdieu, Giddens, Schatzki and others, obviously poses such a temptation but should not be imported unexamined. The aim of this chapter is to subject this body of theory to critical scrutiny. In so doing, the argument draws on Wittgenstein's analysis of normative regularity or "rule-following".

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Towards a Theory of Social Practices

2009 •

Andrea Zhok

The notion of social practice and a family of notions akin to it play an essential role in contemporary philosophical reflection, with particular reference to the conceptualization of historical processes. Stephen Turner’s book A Social Theory of Practices (1994) has provided a major challenge to this family of notions, and our purpose is to outline a grounding account of the notion of social practice in the form of an answer to Turner’s criticisms. We try to answer three questions: first, if it is necessary to grant a tacit dimension to transmittable habits; second, if and how a tacit dimension of “meaning” could be intersubjectively transmitted; third, what is the possible role of rationality in changing social practices. Our discussion moves from Wittgenstein’s argument on rule-following; in its wake we try to examine the nature of habits as a basis for rules and discuss their temporal sedimentation, inertia and modes of intersubjective transmission. In conclusion we support the idea that social practices must rely on a tacit dimension, that their tacit dimension does not represent a hindrance to intersubjective transmission, and that the possible dogmatism of social practices is not due to their “hidden” side, but to their explicit quasi-rational side.

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Welch, D. ‘Practice theory and Sustainability: Some Problems and Paths’ By invitation, Practice, Built Environment and Sustainability Network Workshop, Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 15-16 Sept. 2014

Dan Welch

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Scandinavian Journal of Management

The practice turn in contemporary theory

2003 •

Theodore Schatzki

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The Dynamics of Social Practice: Everyday Life and How it Changes

2012 •

Mika Pantzar

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Practice theory as flat ontology (2024)
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