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[Xmca-l] Re: Activity Setting

Oh! I stand corrected, Cliff. In the context of the extreme polysemny of "culture" I don't think you could have done better in that definition.

What I am left wondering about is your observation in the context of the intervention in the American Indigenous community that "the groups (adults on one hand and youth on the other) formed different cultural communities." Is the "cultural" qualification to "communities" the operative word in this surprising claim? I.e., they belong to the same community, but not the same "cultural community"? It is quite the norm, isn't it, for such chisms to exist within communities.


Cliff O'Donnell wrote:
Andy, regarding your points about material artifacts:

I note that in Cliff's definition the material artefacts are never named as part of culture, focussing instead on shared meanings.

    Please see the inclusion of artifacts on page 23 of our article:

"Culture is expressed in language, speech patterns, artifacts,
music, values, and behavioral norms. Different cultural
patterns can be considered variations displaying arrays of
human characteristics (Tharp 2007 –2008). ‘‘Culture, then,
is not about groups of people…  Rather, the focus should be
on the implicit and explicit patterns of meanings, practices,
and artifacts distributed throughout the contexts in which
people participate, and on how people are engaged,…  or
changed’’ (Markus and Hamedani 2007 , pp. 11–12). Cultural
communities, of course, are not static and shared
meanings evolve with changes in history and social,
political, and economic systems."

The material foundation of collaboration is a very important aspect of activity.

No one is suggesting an absence of a material foundation in activity settings. They must exist in a physical environment. In the 1990 chapter I referenced earlier, we analyzed activity settings "in terms of six components: a physical environment, time, funds, positions, people, and symbols. These components are the resources among which the activity of the setting is generated, maintained, and centered."

I guess I take "community" as indexing all the people sharing that culture through shared activities.

    On that point, we agree. We define community by shared activities.


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

*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts