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[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities

Huw, I think we have to widen the scope of the subject matter beyond child development here to appreciate the extent of the concept of "an activity." Children, after all, grow into a society (community, nation state, world market) of adults, and "activities" are the units for understanding the dynamics (development) of that adult life-world. In that context, I think "leading activity" is a concept which needs qualification. A mature adult is always committed to a number of projects, in different ways; some side-by-side, some "nested" and some in conflict. This was Vasilyuk's insight I think. Personal development of the adult is tied up with how the different projects to which one is committed in one's life conflict with or reinforce one another, or come up against objective barriers or fail to fulfill themself for a person. I don't know that Leontyev looked into those "very complex cross-links." For that I turn to Vasilyuk's 1984 book (not his current writing!).


Huw Lloyd wrote:
Thanks for these. They're interesting but I don't think they quite answer the question about operational definitions -- i.e. the experimental paradigms used to establish and measure the unit.

On p. 364 Leontiev elaborates on an example with a student, in which he states that psychological testing needs to be done in order to find out what the current activity is for the subject.

But this does not really bring any bearing onto "the very complex cross-links" (1977) between the individual and society.

I am guessing that he uses leading activity as the means for setting the scope of societal practices for revealing the formation of new motives etc.

I am partially interested in this for observing how the object is demonstrated objectively, and the relation of complex motives (e.g. doing work in an ethical way) to notions of a "single basis of development".