Social Practice and Theoretical Integration of Everyday Life

  • Sarah Schrader
Part of the Bioarchaeology and Social Theory book series (BST)


While Chapter  1 addressed the anthropological significance of examining day-to-day events, Chapter  2 will focus on the theoretical perspectives that support the Bioarchaeology of the Everyday. The two primary social theories that will be discussed here are practice theory and embodiment theory. Practice theory, a theoretical perspective stemming from several authors, addresses the relationship between social structure and the individual. Common between these theorists is the centrality and importance of daily experience. Embodiment, the argument that biosocial events in an individual’s life impact their skeletal system, is central to the notion that everyday experiences can be assessed through the examination of bone. If a person is engaging in physically strenuous forms of activity, as a product of both social and biological influences, their skeletal frame will adapt to this stress. Additionally, as discussed in Chapter  4, atomic traces of foods consumed, present in skeletal remains, reflect a biosocial process. When human skeletons are viewed as artifacts of social lives and meaningful action, their potential contribution to the archaeological and anthropological story becomes apparent. I have also included sections on the anthropology and archaeology of food and labor to provide a framework for these theoretical points as well as introduce the reader to these broad topics. Each of these approaches provides a distinct contribution to examining ancient day-to-day life via human skeletal remains.


Practice theory Embodiment Food Labor Bourdieu Giddens de Certeau 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Schrader
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ArchaeologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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