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Critically building on Hägerstrand’s (1967) geographical work, Giddens argues that we cannot separate ‘individuals’ from the day-to-day contexts they help to constitute.
Rejecting what he regards as Hägerstrand’s weak notion of power as ‘authority constraints’ to human action, he stresses instead the transformational power of human action which operates both with the limitations and possibilities afforded by societal constraints (1984: 116-117).
(Bourdieu 1990: 11) Another fundamental notion in Bourdieu’s practical apparatus is ‘doxa’, those deeply internalised societal or field-specific presuppositions that ‘go without saying’ and are not up for negotiation (Bourdieu 1998: 66-67, 2005: 37, Parkin 1997: 376).
Turning now to the second generation of practice theorists, these thinkers have continued to stress the centrality of the human body to practice while paying closer attention to questions of culture and history as well as developing new concepts (e.g. ‘integrative’ practices, see below) and applying practice theory to new areas (e.g.
Bourdieu concluded that Kabyle bodies are ‘mnenomic devices’ that help to reproduce fundamental cultural oppositions and are integral to a cultural habitus learned more through observation than formal teaching (Jenkins 2002: 75-76). Peterson’s (this volume) summary of Bourdieu’s account of practice: Social life is a constant struggle to construct a life out of the cultural resources one’s social experience offers, in the face of formidable social constraints.
By living in a society structured by such constraints, and organised by the successful practices of [others, JP], one develops predispositions to act in certain ways.
Social relations are structured across space and time thanks to the duality of structure – this is what Giddens calls ‘structuration’ (1984: 376).
His ‘structuration theory’ demonstrated ‘how principles of order could both produce and be reproduced at the level of practice itself’ and not through some ‘ordering’ society impinging upon individual actors from above (Couldry, this volume).