From Practices to Situations: Situating Negotiations of Social Practices in a Scottish Community Project

Angela Pohlmann


In the past few years, practice theories have been increasingly employed within social scientific research on the environment and sustainability. Thereby, researchers have not only illustrated the valuable insights that can be made, based on these theories, but have also shown the shortcomings of practice theories. Some scholars have recommended combining practice theories with pragmatistic approaches. These would enable the integration of ambivalence, creativity, and instability into practice theoretical approaches. Adele CLARKE's situational analysis (CLARKE, 2003; CLARKE, FRIESE, & WASHBURN, 2018) provides a theory-methods bundle based on American pragmatism. Within this article, I combine practice theories and situational analysis in order to show the analytical-theoretical gains that derive from such a combination. Using the example of two conflicts which evolved within the context of a Scottish community organization, I exemplify which aspects and relationships come into the analyst's view when using either practice theory or situational analysis. This provides the basis on which I then show how these two concepts can be used to enhance each other.


situational analysis; practice theories; theorizing; conflicts; community energy


Copyright (c) 2020 Angela Pohlmann

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