Titel: Does Practice Theory Work? Reckwitz’s Study of the ‘New Middle Class’ as an Example
Autor: Andreas Pettenkofer
‘Practice theory’—a theory program that connects the goal of offering non-rationalist explanations to a strong focus on everyday routine activities, and builds on the work of Bourdieu but tries to gain a less narrow perspective—is being used more and more widely in the social sciences. Its advocates often argue that, since practice theory is a heuristic for doing empirical work, discussing it without addressing this empirical work cannot do justice to it. Therefore, this article analyses Reckwitz’s recently translated book on The Society of Singularities, which its author presents as an example of the advantages of (one dominant version of) practice theory. As will be shown, the book demonstrates that this version of practice theory does not fulfil its promises. Looking at its difficulties is instructive, however, because it helps see more clearly how the goal of an integrative ‘theory of practice’ could be achieved.