[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[Xmca-l] Re: Activity Setting
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Activity Setting
- From: Lubomir Savov Popov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:51:18 -0400
- Accept-language: en-US
- Acceptlanguage: en-US
- Cc: "Cliff O'Donnell" <email@example.com>, Roland Tharp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- In-reply-to: <CAG1MBOHaaAc=sOD2=Zb-QgLPp=kWJDM7EV8MCdaF3fct0P4N2g@mail.gmail.com>
- List-archive: <https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/xmca-l>
- List-help: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=help>
- List-id: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l.mailman.ucsd.edu>
- List-post: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
- List-subscribe: <https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-l>, <mailto:email@example.com?subject=subscribe>
- List-unsubscribe: <https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-l>, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=unsubscribe>
- References: <C19012EF8F8F7146898DA221E3E7F8E1013B0ED8774B@MAIL2.bgsu.edu> <CAG1MBOHaaAc=sOD2=Zb-QgLPp=kWJDM7EV8MCdaF3fct0P4N2g@mail.gmail.com>
- Reply-to: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thread-index: Ac6XjppBjfL/Zum8T/KSAjWRD50bmwABl1dw
- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] Re: Activity Setting
What a wonderful collection of sources! I will go through them. Alexander is an old "acquaintance." I mean I started with him as soon as he published his Pattern Language books and followed his work thereafter.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Huw Lloyd
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 3:02 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Cc: Cliff O'Donnell; Roland Tharp
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Activity Setting
On 12 August 2013 18:12, Lubomir Savov Popov <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi Andy,
> I am also interested to find the term "activity setting" in Vigotsky's
> writings or those of his followers, including everyone in the East
> European activity theory tradition. I would appreciate articles or
> specific references and page numbers. I need this to anchor some ideas
> and to pay tribute to earlier theorists if they have worked on this.
> I am also interested if there are people on this list who work on the
> development of the concept of activity setting or on activity theory
> in relation to the planning and design of built environment. They can
> contact me at the e-mail below my signature or via this list,
> whichever is more convenient. I was going to make such a request on
> this list some time ago, but now is a good occasion for this.
Jan Derry's philosophical work on educational design, e.g.
implicit mediation is relevant.
A popular historical on buildings (Stuart Brand):
My personal favourite (for buildings) is Christopher Alexander's original
works: A synthesis of form and the 3 volume pattern language (life affirming architecture).
If one subscribes to the notions of Conway's law<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_law> then one should also be studying the activity of the designers and the influence of the environment.
I have more design centric references (without reference to Activity
theory) if want them.
> To my knowledge, no one in the East European activity theory tradition
> has used the term "activity setting," at least till the late 1980s. If
> I have missed something, it is good to catch up.
> I personally work (on and off) on the concept of activity setting
> since the early 1980s. However, I develop it as a methodological
> category for the study of built environment. I have to acknowledge
> that I got the idea for activity setting from Roger Barker's "behavior
> setting." At that time, in East Europe, the concept of behavior was
> considered one-sided and with less explanatory power than the concept
> of activity. There was no way to introduce the behavior setting
> concept without setting the reaction of mainstream social scientists.
> Even if someone dared to suggest the behavior setting concept in an
> article, the reviewers will automatically recommend to rework it as
> "activity setting." In East European social science of that time,
> behavior referred mostly to the visible, mechanistic aspects of activity or in the sense of "demeanor."
> Bob Bechtel has done a good work in the early 1980 expanding on
> Barker's behavior setting, operationalizing his ideas for the field of
> Environment and Behavior (Architecture and Human Behavior; Man-Environment Systems).
> However, this work didn't continue. On the other hand, at that time,
> it was too early to talk about activity settings in the USA. It is
> early even now, in particular in the field of Environment and
> Behavior. Many people in that field resent the idea of ditching
> behavior for activity. They believe that the concept of behavior
> setting is good enough and there is no need to introduce one more concept of similar kind.
> In relation to the field of Environment and Behavior, I personally
> believe that Barker has offered very useful ideas and they can become
> a stepping stone for developing the concept of activity setting. The
> activity setting concept will allow us to use the apparatus of
> activity theory which is more powerful than the concept of behavior. I
> also believe that the development of the activity setting theory for
> the fields of teaching or management or social work and community
> building will be somewhat different. Their focus will be different and
> this will lead to working on different details. As usual, it is not
> possible to study everything about one object of study. We have to
> make difficult choices regarding aspects and depth: what to study first, what to defer, and what to skip.
> Barker had a lot of conflicts with main stream psychologists (not
> activity theorists). I have heard from Bob Bechtel (a student of
> Barker) that psychologists were telling Barker: Roger, you think just
> like a sociologist, which in psychological parlance meant Roger, you are a SOB.
> This illustrates the disciplinary biases and divisions.
> Best wishes,
> Lubomir Popov, Ph.D.
> School of Family and Consumer Sciences American Culture Studies
> Affiliated Faculty Bowling Green State University
> 309 Johnston Hall,
> Bowling Green, Ohio 43403-0059
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:
> email@example.com] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 9:55 AM
> To: Roland Tharp; Cliff O'Donnell
> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: CHAT and Community Psychology
> Thank you very much for your considered response, Roland and Cliff.
> Just a couple of follow ups, because I think healing an
> interdisciplinary gap requires the maximum possible clarity over shared concepts.
> (1) I am still not clear about the meaning of "acitivity setting." I
> have read Wertsch, and I have nothing at all against him, but I am
> just not as familiar with his work as I would like to be. But I have
> read a lot of Vygotsky and never came across the term "activity
> setting" in Vygotsky's writing. There may be an issue of different
> translations possibly. I wonder if you could perhaps scan a page of a
> book where Vygotsky explains his meaning or at least uses the term.
> I have generally come across the term used to indicate, for example,
> the school, or family or a specific workplace, and the norms and rules
> and expectations prevailing in those settings. I gather you take "setting"
> to refer to a particular, rather than a general, such as "family" or
> "school." So "Sandy Bay Elementary" would be an activity setting, but
> not "school," which would be just a type of activity setting. I see
> that "activity setting" is an activity, but includes the particulars,
> such as the participating individuals and the physical surroundings.
> It seems such an important concept for you, as Community
> Psychologists, I would appreciate more specification.
> (2) By me taking an extreme example (slavery) we quickly achieved
> agreement that further specification of "shared activities" is needed
> for an understanding of how mutual understanding arises. (Of course it
> did to an extent under slavery too). I categorise forms of
> collaboration into 3
> modes: direction (line management, command-and-obey, as pertains in
> the normal capitalist firm or public service department), exchange
> (purchase and sale, customer-service provider, as pertains in the
> place) and collaboration as such (mutual criticism, shared attribution
> and decision-making). It seems to me that distinctions like these are
> important. Being a teacher or boss in a community, especially if you
> are otherwise an outsider, can be problematic, even though you are
> engaged in a "shared activity" with the locals. I was really impressed
> by the examples you cited, so obviously you have thought these issues through.
> What is the anatomy of an "activity setting" then?
> (3) What other ways do you conceptualise "context"?
> (and please not "Professor," I am an independent scholar, retired.)
> Roland Tharp wrote:
> > Professor Blunden,
> > Please find our responses to your questions attached. Thank you for
> > your interest.
> > Roland Tharp
> > Cliff O'Donnell
> > On Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 3:58 AM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
> > <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
> > Thanks for sharing that very interesting paper, Mike. From what I
> > see, there is little justification for the dislocation between
> > these two research communities - CHAT and Community Psychology.
> > Their aims, sources and methods seem so similar and compatible.
> > I would just like to ask the authors a couple of questions.
> > * Do you take "activity setting" to be the optimal conception of
> > "context"?
> > * What exactly do they understand by "activity setting"? You cite
> > Vygotsky in a book edited by Wertsch, but I do not have that book.
> > I associate "activity setting" with the current of CHAT around
> > Mariane Hedegaard. It seems to me to be similar in meaning to
> > "institution". Thus I quetion the efficacy of this concept for
> > grasping social change, as opposed to just child development.
> > * Is "mutual understanding" is what you mean by "intersubjectivity"?
> > * I agree that participation in shared activities is the necessary
> > condition for peope to achieve mutual understanding. But this is
> > not necessarily the outcome, is it? It depends on the type of
> > collaboration within the activity. EG White slaveowners and black
> > slaves collaborated in the production of cotton in the Confederate
> > States of America for many years, but this did not result in
> > mutual understanding. So it seems that the notion of "shared
> > actvities" needs further specification. Yes?
> > thanks
> > Andy