Practicing Media – Mediating Practice: Introduction
More than a decade and a half after the concerted application of practice theory to media and communications, this IJoC Special Section “Practicing Media—Mediating Practice” aims to assess, apply, and expand on the diverse approaches to practice theory. Our focus on contemporary practice theories as well as empirical practice-based research comes at a time when the understanding of mediated and mediatized social life as practices is proliferating across research settings that may not explicitly engage with practice theory literature. This editorial introduction begins with the historical emergence of practice theories and the paradigmatic implications of engaging with practices as essential elements of the social world. Second, it considers the particular tensions emerging when considering both mediating practices and practicing media. In so doing, we outline the contributions to this Special Section, dividing them into three sets of articles that deal with (a) media practices as constituent elements of the social; (b) the employment of practice as a lens through which to make sense of processes of media production and its interpretation; and (c) the foundations of practice theories, their limits, and potential combination with other theoretical approaches.