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The seven theoretical and interpretive essays in this volume each advocate reconfiguring, rather than abandoning, the concept of culture.Similarly, they all suggest that a theory which depends on the interested action of social beings—specifically practice theory, associated especially with the work of Pierre Bourdieu—requires a more developed notion of human agency and a richer conception of human subjectivity.Others are ethnographic studies that apply Ortner’s theoretical framework.

It is also possible to distinguish two ‘waves’ or generations of practice theorists.window.sbbop Loaded){ var sbbop_modal = create Modal(modal); if (sbbop_modal ! Ortner draws on her longstanding interest in theories of cultural practice to rethink key concepts of culture, agency, and subjectivity for the social sciences of the twenty-first century.In this section I review the main questions addressed by the more influential members of each generation, concluding with some contemporary trends in practice theory.The first generation of practice theorists sought a virtuous middle path between the excesses of methodological individualism (‘the claim that social phenomena must be explained by showing how they result from individual actions’) and those of its logical opposite, methodological holism (the explanation of phenomena by means of structures or social wholes, Ryan 1970).