The Dynamics of Social Practice: Everyday Life and how it Changes

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Everyday life is defined and characterised by the rise, transformation and fall of social practices. Using terminology that is both accessible and sophisticated, this essential book guides the reader through a multi-level analysis of this dynamic.

In working through core propositions about social practices and how they change the book is clear and accessible; real world examples, including the history of car driving, the emergence of frozen food, and the fate of hula hooping, bring abstract concepts to life and firmly ground them in empirical case-studies and new research.

Demonstrating the relevance of social theory for public policy problems, the authors show that the everyday is the basis of social transformation addressing questions such as:
  • how do practices emerge, exist and die?
  • what are the elements from which practices are made?
  • how do practices recruit practitioners?
  • how are elements, practices and the links between them generated, renewed and reproduced?

Precise, relevant and persuasive this book will inspire students and researchers from across the social sciences.

Elizabeth Shove is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. Mika Pantzar is Research Professor at the National Consumer Research Centre, Helsinki. Matt Watson is Lecturer in Social and Cultural Geography at University of Sheffield.

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About the author

Professor Elizabeth Shove teaches Sociology at Lancaster University.

Mika Pantzar is currently Research Director in the Consumer Society Research Centre, based at the University of Helsinki.

Dr Matt Watson is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE
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Published on
May 17, 2012
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781446290033
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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'This is a superb book; beautifully written, lucid, and engaging, with illuminating critical discussions of the concept of reflexivity, psychoanalytic perspectives, and Foucaultian analysis, locating these theories in up-to-date research and discussions about class and gender. This book will be indispensable as an aid to students looking for an introduction to concepts of the self set in contemporary everyday contexts that they can relate to. But it will also be useful to teachers and researchers looking for orientation in a complex and burgeoning field of literature and research' - Ian Burkitt, University of Bradford

'Matthew Adams provides a clearly written and concise summary of key theoretical accounts of the meaning of social change for psychic life and the experience of self... Self and Social Change is a terrific book. If looking for an accessible introductory text, look no further' - British Journal of Sociology

How does social change influence selfhood? What are the fundamental positions in social theories of the self? How are social changes interwoven with our ability to choose our identities and lifestyles? This accessible and assured book gives readers a new take on the fundamental question of the relation between the individual and society.

By offering a thorough, informed and critical guide to the field, Adams demonstrates how global economic and employment structures, neo-liberal discourse, the role of emotion, irrationality and ambiguity are factors that impact upon the shape and resilience of the self. Anyone interested in the question of identity and its relation to cultural, social, economic and political contexts will find this book a God-send, making it ideal for students and lecturers in cultural studies, sociology, social psychology and communications.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

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