The dynamics of social practice

Why do socieities change or stay the same? This can be looked at through the lens of social practices.

Methods of understanding social practices reflect prior understandings of the relationship between agency and structure.

The common conception of social practice

The dominant idea that new social arrangements result from an accumulation of millions of individual decisions about how best to act affects policy making and has become 'common sense' knoweldge.

It fits nearly with the notion that behaviours are driven by beliefs and values and lifestyles are expressions of personal choice.

This way of thinking is so pervasive that it seems 'natural', but it belongs to a specific tradition that is grounded in the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, running through to contemporary versions of rational choice theory.

It explains things in terms of individual choice. Neoliberal social theory.

References

  • The dynamics of social practice, Elizabeth Shove, Mika Pantzar & Matt Watson
  • Last update: 05-03-2022 10:49