Summarizing Andreas Reckwitz’s ‘Toward a theory of social practice (2002)’ with tables

Last June, while working on a paper with Stefan Wahlen, I finally read one of the most cited references when it comes to the theories of practice:

Andreas Reckwitz “Toward a Theory of Social Practices: a Development in Culturalist Theorizing”, European Journal of Social Theory, 2002, vol. 5, no 2, p. 243‑263. doi:10.1177/13684310222225432

This paper really helped me clarify my understanding of practice theories, and I wish I had read it earlier. But my quantitativist mind instantly felt the need to turn it into tables, which I now share with you.

The paper is organised in two main sections. The first contrasts cultural theories to other theories of human action. The second zooms into cultural theories in order to contrast Parctice theory to what Reckwitz calls mentalism, textualism and intersubjectivism.

Since the paper deals with each theory in a very systematic way, I made a table for each part, filling the cells with quotes (sometimes slightly rephrased). I have not pasted the page numbers of each quote, but you will easily find them by searching them in the original paper.

Making tables really helps me to think and organise my thoughts. Does it help you too? Do you see any possible improvement to these tables? If you do, please let me know!

Table 1: Theories of action according to Reckwitz 2002 (pages 245 sq)

 Table 2: Practice theory versus other cultural theories according to Reckwitz 2002 (pages 250 sq)


Marie Plessz

Sociologue, j'étudie les pratiques alimentaires, les parcours de vie et les inégalités sociales. Sociologist, I study food practices, the lifecourse and social inequalities.

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