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[Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities

I agree!  And that's what research on all the relevant kinds of genesis in Field College types of places is all about -- seldom supported and sustained enough for long enough but worth keeping the eye on that prize.  

By the way we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this week and lots of new historical insight are being published.
Also lots of celebration including shouting and food and drink!  I'll raise toasts when I can to distant friends, meaning folks like you and otheres on XMCA.


 From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:50 PM
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities

That's exactly right, Peg, but it is not enough to state that activities are subject-objects and dynamic, unless we can explain exactly how their dynamism is formed. Exactly *what* are the dynamics of activities? I agree that diversity is a part of it though.


Peg Griffin wrote:
> I see it as dynamic ( ready meaning ready to grow) because I see subjective-object and objective-subject  rather than objective or subjective.
> As diverse "who" are the  obejctive-subjects the odds of changes in the subjective-object motives go way up.  We might all change enough to survive after all.  Working on diversity wasn't an accidental part of LCHC's concern, nor was it for charity or to be nice. It's the dynamism and hope bought by diversity that might separate me (and probably Mike) from the Politburo :)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> *To:* "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:48 AM
> *Subject:* [Xmca-l] Re: Leontyev's activities
> I think your example and your way of explaining is perfect, Peg, for the purposes of psychology and education. The "socio-cultural motive/activity is ready." It is just this objectivist stance in relation to the societal activities which has always been my main problem with Leontyev. I know, of course, that you and Mike and the others involved in 5thD designed activities which were well aligned to widely held aims for the children's development, but where did they come from? Speaking generally, what is the dynamic of the activities we see around us? When surveying social and cultural life in general it is obviously not sufficient to say "Mike and Peg designed these activities" any more than it was sufficient to say that the Politburo decided the targets for social production.
> So it seems to me that Greg's main problem remains unsolved in your approach, Peg. What do we mean by the "motive" of the activity? *Whose* motive?
> Andy
> Peg Griffin wrote:
> > I like the idea of a "well-motivated argument" as used in classical and contemporary logic.  So I say stick to motivated.
> > It works so nicely with the distinction between "merely understood" and "really effective" -- and the transition as merely understood motive becomes really effective.  The subject may engage in the actions that are motivated by two different activity systems with two different motives -- but say the second is merely understood by the subject and the first is really effective for the subject.  When the human conflict-ing (Luria) mash-up happens and the person lapses into a mosaically related but contradictory action -- poof -- the merely understood is now the motive!
> > So the child you and Leontyev describe doing homework is first really effectively motivated by play with adult rules of priority/timing etc. but when that child scrunches up his homework paper and throws it in the waste basket and starts all over -- poof-- the really effective motive/activity falls apart and the merely understood socio-cultural motive/activity is ready and willing and takes up the slack.  Having alluded to both Luria and Leontyev, I now bring in the Beatles -- it's a long and winding road.  Not a one-time enlightenment! But praxis makes possible.
> >
> > When we at LCHC, ages ago, were running the after-school school we called "Field College" (pun and polysemy intended), a funding program officer (Marge Martus) commented that she hadn't seen a single child off task in two hours.  And believe me they were not school or adult governed children!  It was because Field College was strewn with motives that virtually begged for children to engage but also to transition from really effective to merely understood and hence to "grow" into a new activity.  It would be, I told Marge, like being in a rainstorm and trying to avoid the raindrops if a child were off-all-the available operating tasks!
> > We had "center table" rituals and "fifth dimension" constitutions that exposed the merely understood motives. And we had participant structures, tasks, procedures, a lot of bells and whistles that fit in dual activity systems/motives, some combonation of which elicited the child's voluntary engagement in a really effective way.
> > Peg