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[Xmca-l] Re: Activity Setting

The shift from the individual TO *intersubjective* within activity settings
seems central.
As we explore activity settings, *inter-subjectivity* is also a central term

On Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 11:01 PM, Cliff O'Donnell <cliffo@hawaii.edu> wrote:

> Thank you for your response, Lubomir. Roger Barker was an important
> influence on my thinking earlier in my career. His work is highly respected
> in community psychology. Quoting from our article, here is the distinction
> we see between behavior setting and activity setting:
> "The subjective focus of activity settings distinguishes
> them from the behavior settings developed by Barker
> (1960 , 1968 ). In behavior settings, the focus is on objective
> molar behavior specified by time and place. Behaviors are
> defined by the roles or positions of people in the setting and
> activity is used to coordinate their behaviors. Suggestions
> have been made to alter behavior setting theory to include a
> wider range of individual behaviors, cognitions, and
> interventions in the setting (e.g., Luke et al. 1991 ; Schoggen
> 1989 ; Wicker 1987 ). In contrast, activity setting theory
> unifies the objective and subjective by showing how
> activity is influenced and intersubjectivity developed.
> Rather than a collection of individual behaviors and cognitions,
> intersubjectivity develops as a setting characteristic
> that becomes the shared meanings of culture and provides
> the basis for cultural community psychology." (p. 24)
> For a more thorough presentation of our use of the concept of activity
> setting, please see:
> O'Donnell, C. R. & Tharp, R. G. (1990). Community intervention guided by
> theoretical developments. In A. S. Bellack, M. Hersen, & A. E. Kazdin
> (Eds.), International handbook of behavior modification and therapy, 2nd
> Edition (pp. 251-266). New York: Plenum Press.
> Cliff
> Clifford R. O'Donnell, Ph.D.
> Professor Emeritus
> Past-President, Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27)
> University of Hawai‘i
> Department of Psychology
> 2530 Dole Street
> Honolulu, HI 96822
> On Aug 12, 2013, at 7:12 AM, Lubomir Savov Popov 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.
>> 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
>> 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
>> Lspopov@bgsu.edu
>> 419.372.7835