What Are the Principles of Practice Theory? (5+ Key Aspects)

The practice theory defines “practice” as a central theme in social psychology.

The theory consists of both social science and philosophy. It consists of six basic principles.

Different principles have different implications in various theories while practicing in different domains.

There are different backgrounds which refer to the substantial treatments of the theme. 

Thus, there are different rationales for theoretical attention to practices.

In this article, we will discuss the Practice theory. 

  1. Practice, rules, and Norms

The main important aspect of the theory proposed by Wittgenstein’s.

According to social life, the understanding comprises by following the practice, rules, and norms.

It is stated that any society or culture is full of activities and to build up any institute practice is compulsory.

Institutes ruled through the obligations of norms in society. It directs the meaningful purpose of the individual which is directed by physical or biological processes.

These actions are governed by culturally decided norms rather than philosophical branches.

These rules and the practice of norms are called “conception of Laws”. 

It is also determined by Kant that norms are actually the other name of rules and principles and they can be imposed on each other.

The important part of this theory is that rules are not self-interpreting. They are decided by society and every culture or society has different rules and norms.

There are different possibilities to follow the rules, it may be deviant from each person to another.

The other aspect of the rule is to interpret the meaning of rules and norms.

The interpretation of the rules are not decided by itself, the interpretation of the rules are open to deviation from person to person.

This is reported as our insistence, the rule cannot be determined by the course of action and it is made by accord with the rule.

The one method to overcome inconsistency is “everything is decided by proper accord and it is associated by the rule”, but the rule is decided by both the conflict and discomfort.  

The behaviorists highlighted the approach “Practice” and talked about the implications of the rules in any society. 

The behaviorist’s direct human services towards the study of human behavior.

The behavior is publicly observed and can be described in non-intentional, non-normative terms such as the human social life could be described and explained in terms congenial to a strict empiricist.

Human behavior describes the terms in which “features which can supposedly be identified in abstraction from our understanding or not understanding experiential meaning”.  

  1.     Reconciling Social Structure or Culture with Individual Agency

The second step of the theory is “reconciling social structure or culture with individual agency” defines to mediate the discussion in a relative point among the individual agency and social-cultural structures.

The debate can occur between the social sciences and refer to the discussion among all the knowledge and domains of social sciences. 

Different situations, cultures, and social structures most affect the decision, and these are affected by social traditions.

The complex social and cultural structures are identified which can obviously enhance the different domains of social sciences.

The critics of social and cultural never raised to make amendments according to the new aspects and by reviewing the domains of an individual’s action and methodological bases which can be explored from the groundings. 

Thus the response and the intelligibility of individual actions often depend upon the social and cultural aspects of the cultural context.

If one examined that the action of individuals is without reference such as voting, exchanging money, any ritual, usage of language, and other prominent things which are necessary to represent a culture.

Practice theories typically resolve the disputes of acknowledging both sides or want to grasp some important aspects of importance.

At one level the practices are composed of individual performance but with the passage of time, these performances become extended and become the representative of any society or any country.

Thus the practices are the background that replaces what earlier theories of philosophy represent as a culture or social structure or social norms.

We can understand the practice theory by defining the background of social structures. 

Although continuing reproduction of practice theory and the transmission period make amendments according to the time and become flexible as per the society or individual’s norms.

The modern theory of practice emphasizes that the practical approaches which represent uniformity in a system and become the cause of strengthening in society are called practice theory.

It can be defined through human action and interaction. It has different dynamics, for now, a cultural background which is a very important consideration to define a system.

To understand the culture: it is the patterns or explicit implicit behaviors that are acquired and transmitted by symbols and constitute through achievements of the human group.

The essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially the attached values.

On the other hand culture is a system that is considered as products of actions and the other conditioning elements of further actions.

The advantage of the first practical theory is to work the normative and meaningful aspects of human behavior, it helps to solve the different problems.

To understand the basic phenomena of the problems and application of solutions in a smart way is also the approach of holistic social or cultural aspects.

The understanding of the norms and always been remained philosophically troubling.

The practice theory provides a clear causal reason for any pending tasks, this helps to maintain the process of society such as imitation, training, and sanctioning.

The practical theory second strategy is to work on the rationalization and understand the permeate the social and cultural practices.

The practical theory works on the holes of society and tries to overcome the holes by interacting with others.

This interaction generates the norms and rules of any society. The human understanding how is inoculated and simply to articulate the insight in detail.

The practical theorists distinguish the strategies differently and they consider the man as a self-interpretation animal who has the ability to work independently. 

All human being according to the practical theory experience one’s situation in different terms.

This sense of experience in a variety of ways is called proto-interpretation.

  1. Bodily Skills and Disciplines

The third most important aspect in practice theory has been the central role of human bodies and bodily comportment, in other words, the biological concepts of any individual or society’s concerns. 

The practical theory emphasis within practice theory upon understanding human agency and social interaction as bodily performance has countered intellectualist conceptions of culture and social life, although the charge of intellectualism comes from many directions.

The other term refers to mobilizing a concept for the understanding of scientific understanding to present bodily skills and order to get aspiration for social interaction and administration.

The important understanding of this concept is to present the presence of biological comportment precisely.

The basic aspiration of the reconciliation is to report the basic bodily movements and dimensions. 

The human body naturally responds both casually and towards the effective world and prepares the capability towards self-directed activities.

The movement and expression are observable and it seems to conceptual understanding and recommend for further details.

Practice theory involves understanding human bodies as both the locus of agency, and effective response and cultural expression, and the target of power and normalization.

The challenge which practice theory faces is to characterize human bodily interaction with other bodies and a shared environment in ways that actually resolve these dual conceptions.

4.      Language and Tacit Knowledge

The Practice theory focuses on the bodily skills or natures which exist uneasily with the integral role of language in social life.

The Virtual part of the practice treats this as an important aspect, but they take it in some apparently conflicting directions.

Different practical theorists argue that the different practices are crucial and deal these with tactics.

Practice theory refers to shown phenomena and competently enacted only when freed from verbal mediation. 

It is also said that to translate a theory or according to the view of the world into one’s own language is not to make it one’s own.

For that one must go native, discover that one is thinking and working in, not simply translating out of, a language that was previously foreign.

That transition in practice theory is one that an individual may make or refrain from making by deliberation and make choices accordingly.

5.       Social Science and Social Life

The practice theory that emphasizes another tacit, in which social practice dimensions are discussed.

The norms and functions are also revealed through the implicit in social practice.

Many practical theory phases have centers concerned about the relation and social inquiry in social life.

They de-emphasize the science of a time which is not about the practice.

The social scientist and the other field provide aspiration in objectivity which is a very sharp and objective method in the practice theory.

The practice theory defines what is the individual is doing and which is deeply embedded in the body dispositions which is action-oriented about the habits and the social scientist articulates the tenseless understanding which is detached from any stakes in practice.

6.      Practices and the Autonomy of the Social

The final expository aspect in the practice theory is about the frequent appeal to a conception of practices as the proper domain of the social sciences, in order to secure their punitive or theoretical autonomy.

The most common challenges to conceptions of sociology and anthropology as distinctively “social” sciences have come from psychology or neoclassical economics, and evolutionary biology. 

The issues are discussed extensively in other charities to this volume, so I will only briefly highlight the characteristic contributions of practice theory to these debates.

The historical and cultural particularity of practices, and the ways in which the meaning of individual performances of practice are contingent upon their particular context or it might be the most frequent grounds for appeal to practice theory in defense of and separately for social science.

Practice theory might resist any reduction of social context to the thoughts and actions of individuals or society by showing how to understand the latter is dependent upon the constitution of meanings that are irreducibly social and cultural aspects.

The practical theory focuses on the level of bodily disposition, discipline, or skill that cannot be made fully explicit as rules or conscious intentions has also been prominently employed to challenge as an instrumental or computational conception of rationality upon the social constitution, comprehension, and deployment of meaning.

FAQ about Practice Theory

1.      What is the implication of Bourdieu’s theory in practice?

It is an unacknowledged classic of contemporary social philosophy.

It combines the first analysis by a social theorist of the practical intelligibility governing action with an exciting perspective on how the structure of social phenomena determines and is itself worked on the action.

2.      What is the implication in practice theory of social work?

These Social work theories are general explanations that are supported by evidence obtained through the scientific method.

3.  How practice theory applies to nurse?

Nursing theory is defined as “a creative and rigorous structuring of ideas that project a tentative, purposeful, and systematic view of phenomena”.

Through systematic inquiry, whether in nursing research or practice, nurses are able to develop knowledge relevant to improving the care of patients.


Practice Theory by  Joseph Rouse (2007)

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!