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The Dynamics of Social Practice


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Table of Contents

The Dynamics of Social Practice Introducing Theories of Practice Materials and Resources Sequence and Structure Making and Breaking Links Material, Competence and Meaning Car-Driving: Elements and Linkages Making Links Breaking Links Elements Between Practices Standardization and Diversity Individual and Collective Careers The Life of Elements Modes of Circulation Transportation and Access: Material Abstraction, Reversal and Migration: Competence Association and Classification: Meaning Packing and Unpacking Emergence, Disappearance and Persistence Recruitment, Defection and Reproduction First Encounters: Networks and Communities Capture and Commitment: Careers and Carriers Collapse and Transformation: The Dynamics of Defection Daily Paths, Life Paths and Dominant Projects Connections Between Practices Bundles and Complexes Collaboration and Competition Selection and Integration Coordinating Daily Life Circuits of Reproduction Monitoring Practices-as-Performances Monitoring Practices-as-Entities Cross-Referencing Practices-as-Performances Cross-Referencing Practices-as-Entities Aggregation Elements of Coordination Intersecting Circuits Representing the Dynamics of Social Practice Representing Elements and Practices Characterizing Circulation Competition, Transformation and Convergence Reproducing Elements, Practices and Relations between Them Time and Practice Space and Practice Dominant Projects and Power Promoting Transitions in Practice Climate Change and Behaviour Change Basis of Action Processes of Change Positioning Policy Transferable Lessons Practice Theory and Climate Change Policy Configuring Elements of Practice Configuring Relations between Practices Configuring Careers: Carriers and Practices Configuring Connections Practice Oriented Policy Making

About the Author

Professor Elizabeth Shove teaches Sociology at Lancaster University. Mika Pantzar is currently Research Director in the Consumer Society Research Centre, based at the University of Helsinki. Dr Matt Watson is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield.


Recent discussions of research "impact" tend to assume that moving from theory to practice is easy. In fact, it is often very hard. Hence it is unsurprising, if apparently paradoxical, that the theory of practice usually appears abstruse and even impractical. Hence, too, the tremendous achievement of The Dynamics of Social Practice. The book not only takes us confidently through the thickets of theory. But, more importantly, with examples that are thoroughly concrete (both metaphorically and quite literally), it allows us to understand how such theory can be brought to bear directly on such pressing and practical problems as climate change
Paul Duguid
Adjunct Professor, School of Information, University of California, Berkeley The Dynamics of Social Practice, through a series of clever and courageous analytic moves, sets out an innovative framework for understanding the complexities of contemporary social processes. Written in a clear, accessible style and illustrated with a wealth of engaging examples, Shove, Pantzer and Watson successfully accomplish that rare trick of making an important contribution to social theory while also providing a major resource for social policy
Mike Michael
Professor of the Sociology of Science and Technology, Goldsmiths This remarkable book provides the best available analysis-theoretically trenchant and empirically illuminating-of the dynamics of social life construed as a field of practices and inaugurates the needed process of developing practice-oriented public policy
Theodore Schatzki
Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky

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