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Practice Theory Methodologies

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The ‘right’ methods and conversations

Russell Hitchings: “If you’re thinking about practice as a kind of invitation to explore the world or phenomena through a range of interesting ways, I like that. I think that’s probably a good way to go. But I think that could be communicated more effectively because I think often people have a tendency to think, “Ok, am I doing it right?” when they are applying it.

Continue reading “The ‘right’ methods and conversations”

Sideways techniques

I think [practice theories] make even bigger methodological demands than sometimes realized. …

So people, institutions, and consequently archives, do not tend to speak of practices. … There is one exception, and that is Monty Python with the Ministry of Silly Walks. But I think that is telling that we have ministries that deal with housing – that is about the housing stock, not necessarily about housing practices …

we really have to think perhaps harder, more creatively about sideways methodological research techniques that allow us to get closer to the actual practice.

Modest grand theories

“Practice theories are a kind of ‘modest grand theories’ as they offer mere frameworks of categories and assumptions for developing substantial theories on specific practices.”

  • Stefan Hirschauer (2008): “Die Empiriegeladenheit von Theorien und der Erfindungsreichtum der Praxis”, in: Herbert Kalthoff/Stefan Hirschauer/Gesa Lindemann (eds.), Theoretische Empirie. Zur Relevanz qualitativer Forschung, Frankfurt a. M., pp. 165–187, p. 172 (trans. Hilmar Schäfer)

Sahakian and Wilhite (2014)

While social practice theory represents a promising theoretical framework, it could benefit from becoming more “practicable”

  • in Journal of Consumer Culture 14(1), p27

Paul Klee (1961)

We do not undertake analyses of works because we want to copy them or because we suspect them. We investigate the methods by which another has created his work, in order to set ourselves in motion.

  • from ‘The concept of analysis’ in Notebooks, Vol 1, p99

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