[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities

Two things Greg.

Firstly, most definitely the caddy and the player are involved in the same project or activity. Self-evidently. Each are also involved in other activities, and reflecting on these other activities may shed light on how they come to be collaborating in the shared project of the player's game. Like master and servant, people always collaborate in a particular mode. The archetypes of these modes of collaboration are master-servant, customer-provider and collaboration per se. It is important to recognise these different modes of collaboration because otherwise we tend to force *all* collaboration into the same mode, which may cause us to misconstrue some relations. The fact that different participants have different social positions within a project means that they each are bound by different sides of the same norms. That is, the norms of meaning, belief and action prevailing in the project mandate different meanings, beliefs and actions for different participants. The tensions arising from these asymmetrical relationships is one of the motors of change.

Secondly, no, projects do not exist *between* persons, persons exist *between* projects. This is just another effort by you, Greg, to make the unit of analysis the individual person. The relevants units of analysis of Activity Theory are operation, action and activity. :)


Greg Thompson wrote:

"Motive" seems a slippery concept to rest too much on. Andy I'm wondering how you answer the question you put to Roland, namely whether or not master and slave are participating in the same activity/project? Or, what about a golfer and caddy? And so on down to, as Phillip and Carol point out - the different participants in a discussion on XMCA.


Goffman's answer is interesting in that he doesn't rely on the motives (motivational relevancies) of the participants, but rather creates a notion of the local context as a "frame" that exists somewhere between participants. No one person can dictate the frame (even dictators have to deal with the possibility of duplicitousness - the word with a side-wards glance - hence irony is a powerful weapon of the weak - even if James Scott didn't recognize this, Bakhtin clearly did). Frames emerge as participants take parts in the unfolding play of some event or happening, and, to a certain extent, without regard to alignment of the motives of the participants. Every once in a while the motives of all participants create a frame may be relatively closely aligned, but it seems much more common that frames are built out of a plethora of motives.