chapter  8
12 Pages

Practices and their affects

ByAndreas Reckwitz

Theories of practice claim to be able to find new ways of seeing society and human behaviour. The intense international interest in practice theoretical approaches in sociology in the last ten years (see, among others, Schatzki et  al., 2001; Schmidt, 2012; Nicolini, 2012) comes out of a widespread dissatisfaction with the traditional sociological vocabulary, which has proved insufficiently inspirational to current empirical research. This dissatisfaction applies above all to the dualistic distinction between individualist approaches of economic rational choice theory on the one hand, and the holistic approaches on the other, which take their point of departure from norm systems or intersubjective communication processes. But it applies also to the dualistic distinction between a culturalism that studies discourses and sign systems on the one hand, and a materialism of biological processes on the other (see Reckwitz, 2002b).