There is a special sense the word "practice" is used for that I have problem understanding. Following is the title of a book:

Food Sovereignty in International Context: Discourse, politics and practice of place

What is the meaning of "practice" in this title? For me, as far as I could search and find, "practice" when used as a noun can mean one of the following (American Heritage Dictionary):

  1. A habitual or customary action or way of doing something: makes a practice of being punctual.
  2. a. Repeated performance of an activity in order to learn or perfect a skill: Practice will make you a good musician. b. A session of preparation or performance undertaken to acquire or polish a skill: goes to piano practice weekly; scheduled a soccer practice for Saturday. c. Archaic. The skill so learned or perfected. d. The condition of being skilled through repeated exercise: out of practice.
  3. The act or process of doing something; performance or action: a theory that is difficult to put into practice.
  4. Exercise of an occupation or profession: the practice of law.
  5. The business of a professional person: an obstetrician with her own practice.
  6. A habitual or customary action or act. Often used in the plural: That company engages in questionable business practices. Facial tattooing is a standard practice among certain peoples.
  7. Law. The methods of procedure used in a court of law.
  8. Archaic. a. The act of tricking or scheming, especially with malicious intent. b. A trick, scheme, or intrigue.

Then what it means when we say "practice of place"?

  • 1
    It is probably closest to definition #3. As in you can talk about it all you want and the politicians can muck about doing whatever politicians do, but what about what actually happens with food and being able to grow/raise it locally? Sep 26, 2018 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


Practice of place is not an idiom. Looking at the book’s “Introduction”, the editor Amy Trauger says the book considers food sovereignty and how it varies according to the place, and that the essays it contains are organized into three sections. The first section focuses on local discourse, the second on local politics, the third on local practice. The subtitle appears to summarize this structure.

Food Sovereignty in International Context: Discourse, politics and practice of place – the book, searchable at Google

  • Does "local practice" mean the "way of action in local areas"?
    – Sasan
    Sep 26, 2018 at 20:25
  • That's what I take it to mean.
    – MetaEd
    Sep 26, 2018 at 20:53

It’s most likely a corruption of praxis, a pretentious term much favored by academic writers of a certain age, where it typically alluded to whatever “revolutionary” theory was popular at the time, and signaled to the reader that the author was engaged in a quest for a better world, and not merely an upper class observer.

In today’s milder and more self-censorious world, the writer has used practice instead.

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