Practice Theory Reading Rooms

Welcome to a series of online reading rooms.  Each focuses on a specific article or chapter.  A panel of readers discuss the text (for an hour).

If you want to join this panel, get in touch. We have a limited number of places. You can also follow the event live, on the livestream link and use the Q and A function to put questions to the author.

At the end of the reading room discussion the author will have a chance to react and to respond to questions from the livestream audience.

The reading room discussions will be recorded and available to view after the event.

All take place at 11.00 Lancaster time and last for around an hour and a half.

19th October 2022 at 11am Lancaster time.Jörg Sydow and Waldemar Kremser, ‘When Practices Control Practitioners: Integrating Self-reinforcing Dynamics into Practice-based Accounts of Managing and Organizing’

21st September 2022 at 11am Lancaster time. Seweryn Rudnicki and Agnieszka Zwolinska “Knowledge that fits: A practice-oriented approach to the adoption of social research knowledge”

Reading room 20: 25th May 2022 at 11am Lancaster time.
Matt Watson, Sheffield University, and Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University, “How infrastructures and practices shape each other,” forthcoming Sociological Research Online – if you want to join, email

Reading Room 19: 6th April 2022 at 11am Lancaster time
Ela Sjølie, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, “Learning of Academics in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Journal of Praxis in Higher Education 2(1) 2020. If yu want to join, email

Reading room 17: 23rd February 2022 – special event on Archaeology – 11am – 1pm Lancaster time
Workshop on Practice Theory and Archaeology, with Axel Christophersen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Andrew Gardner (University College London), Duncan Garrow (University of Reading), and Tobias Kienlin (Universität zu Köln). Each will speak about an object and practice theory for around 10 minutes, followed by a discussion organised around a few cross cutting themes. If you want to join email

Reading room 16: 19th January 2022 at 11 am Lancaster time
Stephen Kemmis, Charles Sturt University, “Addressing the Climate Emergency: A view from the theory of practice architectures” (under review, Journal of Environmental Education). If you want to join, email

Reading room 15: December 15th at 11am Lancaster time
 Silvia Gherardi, “A Posthumanist Epistemology of Practice,” forthcoming.If you want to join the discussion, contact We have the recording and are working on how to make it available to people outside Lancaster.

Reading room 14: 10th November at 11am Lancaster time
Paul Spee,  “The influence and impact of social practice theory on strategy and strategic management,” book chapter in progress.If you want to join the discussion, contact Sorry, no recording of this one either.

Reading room 13: 13th October at 11.00am Lancaster time
Dale Southerton. Southerton, D. (2003) ‘Squeezing time’ – Allocating practices, coordinating networks and scheduling society. Time & Society, 12(1), 5-25.
If you want to join the discussion, contact Sorry there is no recording of this one.

Reading room 12: 22nd September at 11.00am Lancaster time
Jorgen Sandberg, University of Queensland. Gonzalez-Arcos, C., Joubert, A. M., Scaraboto, D., Guesalaga, R. & Sandberg, J. (2021) “How Do I Carry All This Now?” Understanding Consumer Resistance to Sustainability Interventions. Journal of marketing, 85(3), 44-61, . If you want to join the discussion, contact  Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 11: 30th June 2021 at 11.00 am Lancaster time
Stanley Blue, Michael P. Kelly and Elizabeth Shove, ‘Obese Societies: Reconceptualising the Challenge for Public Health‘,  Sociology of Health & Illness, May 2021. if you want a preview, here is a short blog on the article. If you want to join the discussion, contact  Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 10: 12th May 2021 at 11.00am Lancaster time
Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, Andrzej Bukowski & Natalia Martini from the Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.
‘Social practice research in practice. Some methodological challenges in applying practice-based approach to the urban research’, 2020, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, DOI:10.1080/13645579.2020.1760577
Link to VIEW the recording of the event..

Reading room 9: 24th March 2021 at 11.00am Lancaster time
Basil Wiesse, Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, ‘Situated Affectation as a Practical Problem.’.
Link to VIEW the recording of the event

Reading room 8: 17th February 2021 at 11.00am Lancaster time
Mervi Kaukko and Jane Wilkinson, University of Oulu/Monash University, “’Learning How to Go on: Refugee students and informal learning practices.”
Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 7: 20th January 2021 at 11.00am Lancaster time Thomas Alkemeyer and Nikolaus Buschmann, Oldenburg University, ‘Beyond routine. Practice theory and cultural innovation.’.
Link to  VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 6: 25th November 2020
Davide Nicolini and Maja Korica, ‘Attentional engagement as practice.  A study of the attentional infrastructure of healthcare CEOs. Host Ted Schatzki.
Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 5: 21st October 2020
Niklas Woermann, University of Southern Denmark.’Focusing ethnography: theory and recommendations for effectively combining video and ethnographic research‘  Journal of Marketing Management Volume 34, 2018 – Issue 5-6: Screening Marketing: Videography and the Expanding Horizons of Filmic Research. Host: Elizabeth Shove. Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 4: 16th September 2020
Matthew Hannah:
Universität Bayreuth.  Chapter 5: ‘Turning and alienation. Direction, alienation and montage’ from Hannah, M.  (2018). Direction and Socio-spatial Theory: A Political Economy of Oriented Practice, Routledge.  Host: Ted Schatzki.
Unfortunately there is no recording of this session.

Reading room 3: 19th August 2020
Hilmar Schaefer,
Humboldt Universitat, Berlin: ‘The dynamics of repetition: Translocal practice and transnational negotiations’ Host: Elizabeth Shove
Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 2: 22nd July 2020
Megan Warin:
University of Adelaide. Warin, M., V. Moore, M. Davies and S. Ulijaszek (2016). “Epigenetics and Obesity: The Reproduction of Habitus through Intracellular and Social Environments.” Body and Society 22(4): 53-78. Host: Stanley Blue
Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Reading room 1: 17th June 2020
Paula Jarzabkowski, City University, London:Jarzabkowski, P. and Bednarek, R.(2018). ‘Toward a social practice theory of relational competing.’ Strategic Management Journal 39(3): 794-829.  Host: Ted Schatzki
Link to VIEW the recording of the event.

Previous Events

Public Lecture by Ted Schatzki, at Lancaster University
10th June 2021
Spatial Troubles with Teaching under Covid-19.

This presentation explores the multifaceted underpinning that spaces provide to social affairs, in particular, educating.  It does this by examining a particular social episode, involving spaces of educating, that reveals this support through its undermining: the sudden rushes to home and online teaching that university instructors in the US underwent in the spring of 2020.  Part one of the discussion outlines a practice theoretical account of the spaces of social life—more specifically, of bundles of practices and material arrangements—according to which there are three principal spaces of sociality: material spaces, activity spatialities, and encompassing places.  Part Two then uses this account to diagnose the diverse spatial challenges that instructors faced that spring when they suddenly found themselves at home teaching.  The contrast between what happened then and normal educating at universities makes clear just how crucial spatial features of practice-arrangement bundles can be to successful educating.
All welcome.

Connecting practices:
15th-16th April 2019
Pictures from the connecting practices workshop at Lancaster University in which invited participants from different backgrounds and with different experience met to discuss connections between practices. If you want to learn more about the contributors or what they said, then get in touch.

Forming Alliances: 17th April 2019, 4.30-6.30, Bowland North Seminar Room 6
Open Lecture by Theodore R. Schatzki available on film.
This talk is based on an essay that attempts an alliance between my theory of practices and the theory of institutions due to Roger Friedland.  The essay begins by explaining the idea of a theoretical alliance, briefly discussing sorts of phenomena that practice theories are not likely to propitiously or exhaustively analyze.  The essay then develops the alliance.  It discusses how the two theories analyze institutions as practices and roots the alliance in the idea that the practice plenum (in my sense) evinces multiple institutional orders of variable spatial form that can hang together and coevolve in different combinations.  The discussion then zeroes in on a prominent feature of Friedland’s account: institutional logics and the fundamental principles-values (institutional substances) that organize them.  I suggest that these principles-values closely correspond to what I call “general understandings.”  I also argue that general understandings must be supplemented by ends (and rules) to do the work attributed to institutional substances, in particular, laying down the normative sens of enacting practices.  It follows that the institutional orders found in the plenum of practice are constellations of practices, participants, and objects organized by commanding general understandings and teleologies.  A final section discusses two further convergences between Friedland’s and my accounts: both promulgate flat ontologies and recognize the centrality of politics to institutional change.