chapter  6
17 Pages

Technologies within and beyond practices

ByJanine Morley

The incorporation of material entities as integral elements of social practices, or as inextricably bundled with them, is a significant development in theories of social practice (Reckwitz, 2002a; 2002b; Schatzki, 2002; 2010a; Shove et  al., 2012). As Reckwitz notes, ‘ “artefacts” or “things”… necessarily participate in social practices just as human beings do’ (2002a: 208). Reflecting a similar idea, Shove et al. (2012) describe materials as one of three broad categories of element that are actively integrated when a practice is enacted. Yet materiality is diverse and additional material roles in the life of practices beyond their status as direct constituents of performance have received less attention. This chapter aims to characterise some of these more indirect material-practice relationships by exploring two examples of automated ‘machines’: central heating and fully automated factories.