Routines are the taken-for-granted practices that form the rhythm of everyday life, making people feel secure. How do consumers manage when their routines are disrupted? Practice theorists assert that practices are important to understanding consumption and stress their shared, repetitive, and conventional nature. When practices are stable, they are performed effortlessly, producing feelings of ease and trust in a predictable world. People are often unaware of the embodied competencies, or practical understandings, involved in the performance of these practices. However, practical understandings become apparent when elements of practices are misaligned. Our findings advance Gidden’s (1984) theorization of ontological security by showing how the interplay between practical and discursive understandings and material configurations works to produce different ontological states that we call embedded security, embedded insecurity, discursive insecurity, acclimating security, and new embedded security. We also show how households subtly rework the underlying constitutive rules that anchor important practices in place within practice alignment.

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