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[Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis?



Fascinating Andy.

And for perezhivanie how does it work?

mike

On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 9:51 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Martin, I think it is nothing more than the limitations of a metaphor - it
> can only illustrate one aspect of the target. In this case it is simply
> saying that a quantity of water is just thousands H2O molecules, and
> nothing else. No addition is required to manifest all the properties of
> water.
>
> You would have to be a chemist to know the forces that bind the H and OH
> together and how they can be separated, H containing a positive charge and
> OH containing a negative charge - a good old positive/negative
> contradiction. All chemicals with the H ion are acids and all chemicals
> with the OH ion are alkali, but water is both acid and base and therefore
> neither. *If you want* the water molecule is a tangle of contradictions and
> transformations, along with Carbon, the foundation of the chemistry of
> life. :)
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Martin John Packer wrote:
>
>> Good question, Mike!  What you're pointing out is that LSV's own example
>> doesn't quite do justice to his analysis in T&L.  Water is not a dynamic
>> system: once hydrogen bonds with oxygen the process stops: water is a
>> stable molecule. He should have picked an example in which an internal
>> tension or clash of some kind provides a continual motor for change.
>>
>> In somewhat the same way, I'm trying to figure out how a triangle is
>> dynamic. It's one of the most stable geometric shapes.  :)
>>
>> Martin
>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 10:26 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> Martin. What is the contradiction between hydrogen and oxygen such that
>>> two
>>> atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen give rise to water
>>> with
>>> its distinctive qualities? Knowing that should help people to rise to the
>>> concrete for their own cases.
>>> mike
>>>
>>> On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 6:43 PM, Martin John Packer <
>>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
>>>
>>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>       Well, if it works for you, Helena..!  :)
>>>>
>>>> Clearly Yrjo does claim that the triangle represents a dynamic system
>>>> with
>>>> contradictions. I'm still reading the chapter that Mike linked to, and I
>>>> already some questions. But I'll wait until I read it all before
>>>> posting.
>>>>
>>>> Martin
>>>>
>>>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 6:10 PM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On the contrary.
>>>>>
>>>>> To me, that very affordance is one of the great things about activity
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> theory and the activity system as a unit of analysis. A very simple
>>>> example
>>>> is that if you change something in the norms/customs/laws/history
>>>> corner of
>>>> the triangle (like win a court case that gives you a stronger footing in
>>>> bargaining), then your tools also change. Another: if by bringing new
>>>> members into the community (the base of the triangle) out of which
>>>> division
>>>> of labor raises the subjects, you may find yourself with a leadership
>>>> team
>>>> that is not all white, or not all primarily English-speaking, which in
>>>> turn
>>>> will change what tools/resources you have and may, if you're lucky and
>>>> quick, change your history.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Helena Worthen
>>>>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>>>>
>>>>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Martin John Packer wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> And what's neat about this way of thinking is that it implies that,
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> once one understands the relationships among the components, one can
>>>> bring
>>>> about changes in one component in the totality by acting on *another*
>>>> component of the totality.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> The activity system triangle does not suggest to me this type of
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> relationship among components. Instead, it seems to represent elements
>>>> that
>>>> are only accidentally brought together.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 2:43 PM, Martin John Packer <
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Seems to me the problem in many research projects is that the question
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>> is not formulated in an appropriate way. LSV was exploring a method of
>>>> analysis that seeks to understand the relationship among components in a
>>>> complex totality. Not the causal influence of one factor on another,
>>>> which
>>>> is often how students frame their research interest. And this means that
>>>> the unit of analysis has to represent, exemplify, this relationship.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 1:31 PM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>>>>>> >
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> As someone who uses the concept of "unit of analysis" in a very
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> down-to-earth, quick and dirty, applied way to shape collective
>>>> responses
>>>> to a crisis in a labor and employment relationships (like, when a rule
>>>> changes creates difficulties for workers), I would agree with Andy:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> The other thing is that discovering a unit of analysis is an
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> *insight*. It
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> is not something that can be achieved by following a template, it is
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> breakthrough in your research into some problem, the leap. It
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> usually comes
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> *after* you've collected all the data for your research using some
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> other
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> unit of analysis.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> First comes the story, the details, the experiences. The question
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> lying behind the telling of the stories is, "What are we going to
>>>> do?" The
>>>> unit of analysis gets defined by the purpose we are trying to
>>>> accomplish.
>>>> Are we trying to get the employer to back off temporarily? Are we trying
>>>> get the rule changed? Example:  In a big hospital system in Chicago,
>>>> clerical workers were no longer allowed to leave an "I'm going to be
>>>> late
>>>> to work today" or "I have to stay home with my sick kid today and will
>>>> miss
>>>> work" message on the answering machines of their supervisors. We're
>>>> talking
>>>> about a workforce with hundreds of employees, most of them middle aged
>>>> minority women -- with grandchildren and extended families to be
>>>> responsible for.  Not being allowed to leave a message on a machine, but
>>>> being required to actually speak to a supervisor in person who would
>>>> then
>>>> keep a record of the call, was a problem because supervisors were often
>>>> away from their desks and the whole phone system was unreliable. Also, a
>>>> lot of workers didn't have cell phones at the time this was happening
>>>> (2004) and pay phones are few and far between, so if someone it out
>>>> buying
>>>> more asthma inhalers for a grandkid, making a phone call is not easy.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> So, exactly what is the purpose that we're trying to accomplish,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> here?  To repeal the rule? To fix the phone system?  To educate
>>>> members of
>>>> the union and other others about how to respond collectively to
>>>> something
>>>> that only affects some of them? To make a profound change in society so
>>>> that middle-aged women are not the primary caretakers of an extended
>>>> family?  Pick one. Once you've picked one (hopefully, one that you can
>>>> carry out) you can define the unit of analysis and then reviewing the
>>>> whole
>>>> Engestrom triangle and evaluating your strategy becomes, as Andy says,
>>>> a
>>>> matter of solving puzzles.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> From the employer point of view, asking workers to actually speak to
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> a live supervisor makes a certain sense. That's why we talk about
>>>> activity
>>>> system(s), not just one activity system. But they are often in conflict
>>>> with each other, which adds to the drama.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Is the data in your study being gathered with some purpose in mind?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Is the purpose the purpose of the children, the purpose of the
>>>> class, or
>>>> the purpose of the PhdD program?  To me, what would be most interesting
>>>> would be a comparison between the unit of analysis (purposes of
>>>> children)
>>>> and unit of analysis (purpose of classroom). I'll bet they're not
>>>> identical.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Helena
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Helena Worthen
>>>>>>>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 10:20 AM, Katerina Plakitsi wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> This problem of the ' unit of analysis' is my concern too. I
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> supervise
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> three PHD students on Science Education in a CHAT context. Two of
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> them on
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> early childhood science education and one on primary science. They
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> have
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> collected log files, children discourses consisted of
>>>>>>>>> scientific justifications, accepted rules, and forms of division of
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> labor.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> They have collected children narratives, and drawings. When they
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> decided to
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> analyze their data they follow different paths into CHAT context
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> mainly
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> modeling them using Engestrom's triangle. They still doubt about the
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> " unit
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> of analysis".
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Στις Κυριακή, 12 Οκτωβρίου 2014, ο χρήστης Andy Blunden <
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> έγραψε:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Katie, picking up on your concern about units of analysis, it was
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> one of
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> the points I mentioned in my "report" from ISCAR, that this concept
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> was
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> almost lost to us. A phrase I heard a lot, and which was new for
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> me, was
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> "unit to be analysed." If anyone knows the origin of this
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> expression, I'd
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> be interested in hearing. It seemed to me that what it referred to
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> was a
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> "closed system" for analysis, that is, abandoning CHAT methodology
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> whilst
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> keeping the word. If I am mistaken about this, please let me know.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> The other thing is that discovering a unit of analysis is an
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> *insight*. It
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> is not something that can be achieved by following a template, it
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> is the
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> breakthrough in your research into some problem, the leap. It
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> usually comes
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> *after* you've collected all the data for your research using some
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> other
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> unit of analysis. In Kuhn's terms, discovery of the unit is the new
>>>>>>>>>> paradigm, after which it is just a matter of solving puzzles. So
>>>>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>>>>> graduate students to use the concept of unit in their research,
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> often
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> depends on the wisdom of teh direction they get from their
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> supervisor. I
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> don't know how many PhD students I've met who have got to this
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> point in
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> their thesis and discover that the data they have is not the data
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> they now
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> know they need.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> ------------
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Katherine Wester Neal wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> I like Holli's plan to commit some time to reading the two
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> articles. But,
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> as usual, I don't know that I'll have much to contribute in posts.
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> I
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> usually get deep in thinking about the posts and don't follow that
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> through
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> to write something. The writing is much harder, and I am usually
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> just
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> trying to keep up with reading!
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> For me, the thread has been fascinating, probably because I'm
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> interested
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> in different units of analysis, what they might be used for, and
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> how they
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> fit together with theory and conducting research. What are people
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> doing
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> with units of analysis and why? Or why aren't units of analysis
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> being used?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> If anyone wants to write more in that direction, I'd be very
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> interested to
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> read, and I'll try to respond, although the questions might be as
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> basic as
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> these.
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> Lastly, Andy has basically been articulating my thoughts (in a
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> much more
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> eloquent way than I would) about action as a unit of analysis. In
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Mike's
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> example about driving and thinking and writing, I'd add that the
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> action is
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> mediated. Together with sociocultural and historical factors that
>>>>>>>>>>> influenced those actions (and which, as has been said here
>>>>>>>>>>> before,
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> are
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> often difficult to get a look at), the actions create a picture of
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> much
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> more than just Mike's behavior.
>>>>>>>>>>> Katie
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> Katie Wester-Neal
>>>>>>>>>>> University of Georgia
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>> ............................................................
>>>>>>>>> Katerina Plakitsi
>>>>>>>>> Associate Professor of Science Education
>>>>>>>>> School of Education
>>>>>>>>> University of Ioannina
>>>>>>>>> University Campus Dourouti 45110
>>>>>>>>> Ioannina
>>>>>>>>> Greece
>>>>>>>>> tel. +302651005771
>>>>>>>>> fax. +302651005842
>>>>>>>>> mobile.phone +306972898463
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> http://users.uoi.gr/kplakits
>>>>>>>>> http://erasmus-ip.uoi.gr
>>>>>>>>> http://www.lib.uoi.gr/serp
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> --
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>


-- 
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.