Pragmatic Apparatus – Who Practises Practice Theory (and How)? (Meta-)theorists, Scholar-practitioners, (Bourdieusian) Researchers, and Social Prestige in Academia

Cited by Lee Sonogan

Creative Practice Theory (…What it is, and How it works) | StoryAlity

Abstract by Leonie Holthaus

Practice theory has become a popular and avowedly pluralistic research programme in European and Canadian international relations (IR). It promises the end of monolithic grand theorising and armchair analysis. Yet, taken together, practice theory’s pluralist character and methodological promises raise the question: who practises practice theory (and how)? I deal with this question through a discussion of three different, representative, and sociologically important books. On this basis, I depict three (ideal-)types of authorship. They include the (meta-)theorist, the scholar-practitioner, and the Bourdieusian researcher. I show that authors remake practice theory’s theoretical claims by relating practice to theory in different manners, such as deep theorising, reworking of experience in inductive theorising, and reflexive conceptualisation. I focus less on the enduring position of (meta-)theorists. I rather argue that the different academic practices indicate that the authors seek prestige within practice theory and neighboring scientific communities. For this purpose, I approach prestige as durable esteem due to occupational achievements. Finally, I ask how the new scientific demands of practice theory might impact young, less established academics.

Publication: Millennium: Journal of International Studies (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: Aug 5, 2020 Doi:

Keywords: practice theory, prestige, methodology (Plenty more sections and references in this article)

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