This book provides an exciting and diverse philosophical exploration of the role of practice and practices in human activity. It contains original essays and critiques of this philosophical and sociological attempt to move beyond current problematic ways of thinking in the humanities and social sciences. It will be useful across many disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, science, cultural theory, history and anthropology.
In this penetrating and assured book, one of the leading commentators in the field argues that social theory is moving in the wrong direction in its reflections on human freedom and autonomy. It has borrowed notions of 'agency' and 'choice' from everyday discourse, but increasingly it puts a misconceived individualistic gloss upon them. Against this, Barnes unequivocally identifies human beings as social agents in a profound sense, and emphasises the vital importance of their sociability. Notions of 'agency', 'freedom' and 'choice' have to be understood by reference to their role in communicative interaction; they are key components of the discourse through which human beings identify each other, and have effects upon each other, as soci
This collection of essays introduces pragmatism to the study of international relations and evaluates its potential for the theory and practice of global politics. Seeking to reorient the discipline of International Relations (IR) towards practices and problematic situations, the editors of this volume draw on the pragmatist tradition to provide critical inspiration for this task. Their book, organised into four distinct parts, aims to outline the potential of pragmatism to reconstruct IR. Through such an approach this volume seeks to re-invigorate the discipline and bridge the gap between IR academic communities in the US, UK, and continental Europe. This pioneering volume provides: the first book-length evaluation of the potential pragmatism holds for the practice as well as the epistemological, theoretical and normative debates within the discipline of IR theoretical reflections and empirical studies in the area of diplomacy, international law, public (environmental) policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict highly original contributions by prominent scholars in the field of IR, International Law, Sociology and Social Theory Drawing on research from several disciplines, Pragmatism in International Relations will be vital reading for students and scholars of International Relations, International Relations Theory, and Social Theory.
How does the practice turn play out in international relations? This study offers a concise introduction to the core approaches, issues and methodology of International Practice Theory, examining the design, strategies and technique of practice theoretical research projects interested in global politics, and outlining issues for a future agenda.
On Performance, Society, and History as Indeterminate Teleological Events
Author: Theodore R. Schatzki
Publisher: Lexington Books
This book develops an original Heideggerian account of the timespace and indeterminacy of human activity while describing insights that this account provides into the nature of activity, society and history. Drawing on empirical examples, the book argues that activity timespace is a key component of social space and time, shows that interwoven timespaces form an essential infrastructure of social phenomena, offers a novel account of the existence of the past in the present, and defends the teleological character of emotional and ceremonial actions.
Meaning and Moral Order goes beyond classical, neoclassical, and poststructural theories of culture in its attempt to move away from problems of meaning to a more objective concept of culture. Innovative, controversial, challenging, it will compel scholars to rethink many of the assumptions on which the study of ideology, ritual, religion, science, and culture have been based.
It has become commonplace to observe the growing pervasiveness and impact of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). And yet the three central approaches in International Relations (IR) theory, Liberalism, Realism and Constructivism, overlook or ignore the importance of NGOs, both theoretically and politically. Offering a timely reappraisal of NGOs, and a parallel reappraisal of theory in IR—the academic discipline entrusted with revealing and explaining world politics, this book uses practice theory, global governance, and new institutionalism to theorize NGO accountability and analyze the history of NGOs. This study uses evidence from empirical data from Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia and from studies that range across the issue-areas of peacebuilding, ethnic reconciliation, and labor rights to show IR theory has often prejudged and misread the agency of NGOs. Drawing together a group of leading international relations theorists, this book explores the frontiers of new research on the role of such forces in world politics and is required reading for students, NGO activists, and policy-makers.
The Social Design Reader explores the ways in which design can be a catalyst for social change. Bringing together key texts of the last fifty years, editor Elizabeth Resnick traces the emergence of the notion of socially responsible design. This volume represents the authentic voices of the thinkers, writers and designers who are helping to build a 'canon' of informed literature which documents the development of the discipline. The Social Design Reader is divided into three parts. Section 1: Making a Stand includes an introduction to the term 'social design' and features papers which explore its historical underpinnings. Section 2: Creating the Future documents the emergence of social design as a concept, as a nascent field of study, and subsequently as a rapidly developing professional discipline, and Section 3: A Sea Change is made up of papers acknowledging social design as a firmly established practice. Contextualising section introductions are provided to aid readers in understanding the original source material, while summary boxes clearly articulate how each text fits with the larger milieu of social design theory, methods, and practice.
In four closely interwoven studies, Jeffrey Alexander identifies the central dilemma that provokes contemporary social theory and proposes a new way to resolve it. The dream of reason that marked the previous fin de siècle foundered in the face of the cataclysms of the twentieth century, when war, revolution, and totalitarianism came to be seen as themselves products of reason. In response there emerged the profound skepticism about rationality that has so starkly defined the present fin de siècle. From Wittgenstein through Rorty and postmodernism, relativism rejects the very possibility of universal standards, while for both positivism and neo-Marxists like Bourdieu, reductionism claims that ideas simply reflect their social base. In a readable and spirited argument, Alexander develops the alternative of a "neo-modernist" position that defends reason from within a culturally centered perspective while remaining committed to the goal of explaining, not merely interpreting, contemporary social life. On the basis of a sweeping reinterpretation of postwar society and its intellectuals, he suggests that both antimodernist radicalism and postmodernist resignation are now in decline; a more democratic, less ethnocentric and more historically contingent universalizing social theory may thus emerge. Developing in his first two studies a historical approach to the problem of "absent reason," Alexander moves via a critique of Richard Rorty to construct his case for "present reason." Finally, focusing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, he provokes the most sustained critical reflection yet on this influential thinker. Fin de Siecle Social Theory is a tonic intervention in contemporary debates, showing how social and cultural theory can properly take the measure of the extraordinary times in which we live.