Thinking about Changing Mobility Practices: How a Social Practice Approach Can Help

Sarah Nettleton*, Judith Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Policy and practice in the UK and many other countries has addressed this lack of active mobility, with two main arenas as the focus: encouraging sports participation and, more recently, encouraging active transport, such as cycling and walking. This chapter draws upon Pierre Bourdieu's Outline of a Theory of Practice, which offers a route beyond the theoretical dualism and the potential for making a sociological contribution to public health debates. It begins with a sketch of Bourdieu's theory of practice, paying particular attention to the epistemological and methodological implications for sociological analyses of changing health behaviour. As a case study, it then explores three modes of transformations in practice that the author labels: unthinkable, thwarted and resisted, which are drawn from secondary analysis of two empirical studies to demonstrate the potential of a Bourdieusian approach to the analysis of mobility as social practice. Chapters

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Health Behaviours to Health Practices: Critical Perspectives
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781118898345, 9781118898390
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2014


  • Active mobility
  • Outline of a Theory of Practice
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Social practice


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