Beyond Bourdieu: The Interactionist Foundations of Media Practice Theory
journal contributionposted on 18.01.2021, 16:59 by Peter Lunt
In the practice turn, the critique of interactionism, along withstructuralism, has led to the relative neglect of the analysis of the role andsignificance of interaction in social practice. This trend continues intheories of media and practice. I argue that Goffman’s interactionistaccounts of self-presentation, interaction ritual, and frame analysis providea rich resource for studying the role of interaction in social practices. Ireprise Bourdieu’s theory of practice, its influence on the study of mediaand practice, and criticism of this tradition of research. Goffman’sinteractionist perspective is presented in contrast to Bourdieu’s theory ofpractice. The potential value of such a perspective is illustrated throughGoffman’s own study of gender advertisements and by media researchusing the concept of ‘participation frameworks’ to analyze online mediatedsocial interaction. I end with reflections on the potential of aninteractionist perspective on media and practice.