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Volker Wulf, Volkmar Pipek, David Randall, Markus Rohde, Kjeld Schmidt, and Gunnar Stevens

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733249.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 April 2021

“Practice Theory”

“Practice Theory”

A Critique

(p.105) 3 “Practice Theory”

Kjeld Schmidt

Oxford University Press

Areas of research such as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Information Systems (IS), and Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) are interdisciplinary by virtue of their particular research questions and destined to venture beyond the conceptual and methodological sanctuaries of institutionalized disciplines. Researchers in such areas therefore face a constant temptation to import conceptual innovations or theories that might make it less taxing and troublesome to venture outside the disciplinary habitat. In the case of practice-centered computing, so-called practice theory, developed over the last few decades in the philosophy of sociology by Bourdieu, Giddens, Schatzki, and others, obviously poses such a temptation but should not be imported unexamined. The aim of this chapter is to subject this body of theory to critical scrutiny. In so doing, the argument draws on Wittgenstein’s analysis of normative regularity or “rule-following.”

Keywords:   practice theory, sociology, normative regularity, Wittgenstein, Bourdieu, Giddens, Schatzki, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW, Information Systems, IS, Human–Computer Interaction, HCI

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