In this second chapter, drawing on hermeneutic philosophy, we shall consider further the thesis that practices are generic (Ricoeur)—hence little reflected on—purposive patterns of socially emplaced and embodied, equipped, habituated (Heidegger) activity. Our practices are instantiated by behaviour presuming, projecting and producing shared horizons of understanding (Gadamer), from celebrating ‘bonding’ photographically to our walking evincing faith in a facilitated security. We live within an ideational horizon from which we always already experience a meaningful world, projecting within our practices identities for its entities as equipment or tools for our purposeful use.

To what degree do the accounts of practice theories by Giddens, Reckwitz and Schatzki revisit—converging with or differing from—this earlier thesis? Can present conjoining of philosophical and sociological narratives underwrite a hermeneutic social theory of practices, enabling more analytical insight into socially located consumers talking about generic habituated behaviour?