Everyday life is defined and characterised by the rise, transformation and fall of social practices. Using terminology that is both accessible and sophisticated, this essential book guides the reader through a multi-level analysis of this dynamic.
In working through core propositions about social practices and how they change the book is clear and accessible; real world examples, including the history of car driving, the emergence of frozen food, and the fate of hula hooping, bring abstract concepts to life and firmly ground them in empirical case-studies and new research.
Demonstrating the relevance of social theory for public policy problems, the authors show that the everyday is the basis of social transformation addressing questions such as:how do practices emerge, exist and die?what are the elements from which practices are made?how do practices recruit practitioners?how are elements, practices and the links between them generated, renewed and reproduced?
Precise, relevant and persuasive this book will inspire students and researchers from across the social sciences.
Chapter 1: The Dynamics of Social Practice
The Dynamics of Social Practice
How do societies change? Why do they stay so much the same? Within the social sciences, contrasting theoretical traditions have grown up around these enduring concerns. The problem of understanding novelty and persistence is surely not new, but it is one to which this book brings a fresh approach. It does so by developing a series of concepts with which to capture the dynamic aspects of social practice.
Our opening contention is that theories of practice have as yet untapped potential for understanding change. Realizing their potential depends on developing a means of systematically exploring processes of transformation and stability within social practices and between them. This is the task to which most of the following chapters ...