The Same but Different. On the Possibilities of Combining Practice Theory and Situational Analysis


  • Matthias Leger Universität Stuttgart



situational analysis, social practice theory, theory/methods package, theorizing, ontology, automobility


One of the central innovations of situational analysis is the methodological concept of theory/methods packages. In this article, I argue in favor of such a theory/methods package based on social practice theory and situational analysis. Central theoretical concepts from practice theory are investigated in the context of an empirical project dealing with mobility practices. In addition to basic questions of ontology, I draw from prominent figures of thought, referring in particular to the work of Theodore SCHATZKI. Following on from the idea of practice theory as a flat ontology, with his concept of sites, SCHATZKI offers promising parallels to Adele CLARKE's situation. On this basis, further concepts such as the plenum of practices, chains of activity and Elizabeth SHOVE's three elements model are critically examined. I will show that such a theory/methods package is both possible and promising when it comes to empirical research, as it captures empirical complexity while also providing analytical tools and a theoretical vocabulary.


situational analysis; social practice theory; theory/methods package; theorizing; ontology; automobility



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Author Biography

Matthias Leger, Universität Stuttgart

Matthias LEGER is a PhD student at the Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart. He is a sociologist with research interest in science and technology studies, social practice theory, methodology of qualitative social research, environmental sociology and socio-ecological transformation. For his dissertation, he is studying practices of car-driving in the city of Stuttgart.


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How to Cite

Leger, M. (2023). The Same but Different. On the Possibilities of Combining Practice Theory and Situational Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 24(2).



Social Worlds, Arenas, and Situational Analyses: Theoretical Debates and Practical Research Experiences