Social Research Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition

Praxis is practical reflective activity.

explanatory context

Praxis is an essential element of critical social research. See Critical Social Research Section 1.6.5

analytical review

The McGraw-Hill (2004) Sociological Theory site Glossary defines 'praxis' as:

Practical action that is always intertwined with a theory of society and aimed at revolutionary change.


Smith (2011) in relating 'practice' to 'praxis' states in education writes:

We can now see the full quality of praxis. It is not simply action based on reflection. It is action which embodies certain qualities. These include a commitment to human well being and the search for truth, and respect for others. It is the action of people who are free, who are able to act for themselves. Moreover, praxis is always risky. It requires that a person 'makes a wise and prudent practical judgement about how to act in this situation' (Carr and Kemmis 1986: 190, reference not provided).

associated issues


related areas

See also

Critical Social Research Section 1.6.5


McGraw-Hill, 2004, Sociological Theory: Glossary , available at, accessed 15 May 2013, page not available 24 December 2016.

Smith, M.K., 1999, 2011, 'What is praxis?' in the encyclopaedia of informal education., available at, accessed 12 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home