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[Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects



Andy, you have helped clarify why I have been [and remain] confused on the
notion of "object"

I will try to focus on one particular relation you have highlighted.
If I am clear on your distinctions then:

It is not the Arbeitsgegenstand ALONE [the object OF labour or the object
upon which labour works]  where the problem resides. The problem is NOT
carried WITHIN the Arbeitsgegenstand as an abstraction.  The OBJECT
[purposes and motives]  includes also the "concept" that the subject-person
 makes OF the arbeitsgegenstand [object OF labour].

So it is the concept's relation WITH the arbeitsgegenstand [object OF
labour] that generates  "subject's socially shared OBJECTs [purposes and
motives].

Andy, I may have garbled your construal of the relations involved in these
two meanings of "object", my question is  why not just say "object of
labour" [when we mean arbeitsgegenstand] AND say "purposes and motives"
when we mean OBJECT.

In the same way that Dewey wishes he had used a different term
for "experience"  it seems we need alternative terms for "object".

I am also struggling to understand the historical movement implied in the
alternative changing OBJECTs [purposes and motives]  expressed in how
a term is situated.

The notion of "polyphonic" languages with  shifting meanings and OBJECTS
seems very complex and seems to require expansive understandings of
multiple different "language-games" [as Wittgenstein uses that concept.

The labour process AND the conceptual process and multiple modern /
postmodern understandings of "their"  [using personal pronoun] relations.
Very complex process.





On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 11:31 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> If I could try to do my thing and draw attention to some distinctions in
> this field ... we have at least three different versions of Activity Theory
> involved here plus Leigh Star's theory and in addition the theories that
> have spun off from Leigh Star's initial idea. Each is using the word
> "object" in a different way, all of them legitimate uses of the English
> word, but all indexing different concepts. So for the sake of this
> discussion I will invent some different terms.
>
> The German word Arbeitsgegenstand means the object of labour, the material
> which is to be worked upon, the blacksmith's iron. It is objective, in that
> if may be a nail to a man with a hammer and waste material for a man with a
> broom, but it is all the same Arbeitsgegenstand. Engestrom use the word
> "Object" in the middle of the left side of the triangle to mean
> Arbeitsgegenstand, and when it has been worked upon it becomes "Outcome."
> The hammer that the blacksmith uses is called "Instruments" or now
> "instrumentality," and the Rules, whether implicit or explicit, these are
> respectively the base and apex of the triangle.
>
> Engestrom says " The object carries in itself the purpose and motive of
> the activity." So this "purpose or motive" is not shown on the triangle,
> but I will call it the OBJECT. This is what Leontyev meant by "object" when
> he talks about "object-oriented activity." The OBJECT is a complex notion,
> because it is only *implicit* in the actions of the subject(s); it is not a
> material thing or process as such. Behaviourists would exclude it
> altogether. But this is what is motivating all the members of the design
> team when they sit down to collaborate with one another. Bone one of the
> team thinks the OBJECT is to drive the nail into the wood and another
> thinks the OBJECT is to sweep the Arbeitsgegenstand into the wastebin.
> These OBJECTs change in the course of collaboration and in the End an
> OBJECT Is *realised* which is the "truth" of the collaboration, to use
> Hegel's apt terminology here.
>
> Surely it is important to recognise that while everyone shares the same
> Arbeitsgegenstand, and ends up with Outcome as the same OBJECT, along the
> road they construe the object differently. This is what Vygotsky showed so
> clearly in Thinking and Speech. It is not the Arbeitsgegenstand or some
> problem carried within it alone which motivates action, but *the concept
> the subject makes of the Arbeitsgegenstand*!
>
> Then Leigh Star comes along and applies (as Lubomir astutely notices)
> postmodern ideology critique to the collaboration within an ostensibly
> neutral infrastructure - that is, in Engestrom's terms Rules and
> Instruments, which are naively supposed to be there just to aid
> collaboration. And Leigh Star shows that this is an illusion; the Rules and
> Instruments are in fact residues of past collaborations which carry within
> them the Outcomes, i.e., realised OBJECTs of past collaborations. It is
> these one-time OBJECTs, now-Instruments+Rules which are the Boundary
> Objects.
>
> But it seems that other have grasped the postmodern critique elements of
> this idea, that apparently ideologically neutral obJects (in the expanded
> sense of socially constructed entities, usually far more than OBJects - as
> things, or artefacts, including institutions - fossilised "systems of
> activity") and recognised the shared OBJECT as a Boundary Object,
> reflecting the fact not everyone has the same concept of the OBJECT, as
> Vygotsky proved.
>
> But what Engestrom has done, by placing the Boundary Object in the place
> of Object on his triangle, joining two "systems of activity," for the
> purpose of looking not at cooperation  but rather the conflict within the
> broader collaboration. The reconstrual of the Arbeitsgegenstand is
> deliberate and aimed to change the relation between Subject and obJECT
> (here referring to the Hegelian "Object" usually rendered as "the Other.")
> thereby introducing yet a different strand of postmodern critique into the
> equation, namely Foucault's Poststructuralism, to mind mind, with great
> effect.
>
> OK, so we have Arbeitsgegenstand. OBJECT, Boundary Object, OBject, obJECT
> and obJect. And I might say, the situation is almost as bad in Russian and
> German,
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> On 22/07/2015 5:46 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:
>
>> Thanks a lot for your appreciation, Lubomir.
>>
>> To clarify my question in the previous e-mail, I wish to add that I am a
>> bit familiar with the distinction between object and tool in activity
>> theory, though not enough yet. I can see, and we were aware through the
>> process, that what we describe in the paper has to do with how the object
>> of design emerged and developed for the team in and as they were dealing
>> with, developing, and resorting to particular means or tools. But I guess
>> we could say that in our analyses there is a lack of a historical account
>> of the object that goes over and above the particular instances analyzed.
>> Although we provide with some ethnographic contextualization of the team's
>> developmental trajectories, all of our discussion is grounded on concrete
>> events and their transactional unfolding. We did not resort to the
>> distinction between object and means because it seemed to be the same thing
>> in the there and then of the episodes analyzed, at least in what
>> participants' orientations concerned. If they ori
>>   ented towards anything beyond what was there in the meetings, it was in
>> and through the meetings' means. How would then the distinction between
>> means and object have added to our understanding of the events? (And this
>> is not to doubt of the contribution from such a distinction, I really mean
>> to ask this question for the purpose of growing and expanding; and as said
>> before, part of the answer may be found in Engestrom et al. contribution).
>>
>> As to how we would position our contribution with regard to activity
>> theory, I would reiterate what we said when introducing the paper for
>> discussion: we begun with the purpose of working outside any particular
>> framework and think, as we think Star did, broadly, drawing from several
>> sources. These included cultural historical psychology, ethnomethodology,
>> and discourse analysis. But also the ideas about Experience (in the
>> Deweyan/Vygotskyan sense) that have been the topic in this discussion were
>> in the background all the time, but we did not operationalize them in terms
>> of any particular theory. This is not to say that we went for the "anything
>> goes;" we tried our best to keep internal coherence between what we said
>> about the data, and what the data was exhibiting for us. Perhaps Rolf would
>> like to add to this.
>>
>> I think the questions you are rising about activity theory are very much
>> in the spirit of what I am after, and I am not the best to answer them; but
>> this xmca list may be one of the best places to be asking those questions.
>>
>> Alfredo
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
>> Lubomir Savov Popov <lspopov@bgsu.edu>
>> Sent: 21 July 2015 21:16
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
>>
>> Dear Alfredo and Rolf,
>>
>> There are also a few other things that I would like to bring to this
>> discussion.
>>
>> First, you have a wonderful project and a great article. It is a great
>> example of an interpretativist approach to everyday life phenomena. Really
>> interesting and fascinating. It is all about our minds, culture, and
>> activity.
>>
>> However, how is your approach related to classic Activity Theory? Some
>> people might find that it is a Symbolic Interactionist approach; others
>> might say it one of the Deconstructivist approaches that emerge right now
>> or have emerged in the last decades; still other people might look for
>> connections to ethnomethodology, discourse analysis, etc. I am not trying
>> here to impose a template or categorize your methodology -- just raising a
>> question about its connection to Activity Theory. And again, I am not
>> saying that this is a shortcoming -- I would like to clarify certain things
>> for myself.
>>
>> For example: What are the limits and boundaries of Activity Theory? How
>> much we can fuse Activity Theory and Postmodernist approaches? What do we
>> gain when we infuse new methodological, epistemological, and ontological
>> realities into Activity Theory? What do we lose? What is the threshold when
>> it is not Activity Theory anymore? (I mean here Activity Theory as research
>> methodology.) Do we need to call something Activity Theory if it is not? If
>> we create a new approach starting with Activity Theory, do we need to call
>> it Activity Theory?
>>
>> Activity Theory is a product of Modern thinking, Late Modernism. The
>> discourse you use in your paper borrows strongly from Postmodern discourses
>> and approaches. I am not sure that Modernist and Postmodernist discourses
>> can be fused. We can borrow ideas across the range of discourses, but after
>> we assimilate them for use in our project, they will "change hands" and
>> will change their particular discourse affiliation and will become
>> completely different components of a completely different discourse. Mostly
>> because the epistemologies and ontologies are different; and the concepts
>> are very different despite of the similarities in ideas and words used to
>> name these ideas.
>>
>> Just a few questions that I hope will help me understand better what is
>> going on in the realm of CHAT.
>>
>> Thank you very much for this exciting discussion,
>>
>> Lubomir
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
>> xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Alfredo
>> Jornet Gil
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:36 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; Andy Blunden
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
>>
>> Andy, all,
>>   I just recently begun to read Engeström and cols. contribution to the
>> special issue, which is very interesting. I have particular interest in the
>> difference that they point out between boundary object on the one hand, and
>> object and instrumentality as different aspects of activity theory on the
>> other. Rolf and I came across this distinction while writing our own paper.
>> We noticed that the museum space, through multiple forms of presentations
>> (e.g., the room itself, a floor plan, performances of being in the room
>> while not being there, etc), was a means, an instrument for achieving a
>> final design product.
>>
>> At the same time, the museum space begun to become the object of the
>> designers' activity. Since this were interdisciplinary designs, and the
>> partners had multiple, sometimes opposite interests, what seemed to be a
>> common object for all them was the museum as place. Thus, most
>> representations of it begun to be made in terms of narratives about being
>> there. That was the orientation that seemed to stick them together.
>>
>> Thus, the museum space was both object and instrument. We wondered
>> whether we should do connections to notions of object of activity and
>> tools, but we felt that that road would take us away from the focus on body
>> and experience. We ended up drawing from Binder et al (2011), who
>> differentiate between object of design, the design thing that work
>> delivers, and the object's constituents (or means of presentation before
>> the design thing is finished).
>>
>> When bringing the notion of boundary object into the picture, we could
>> discuss the history of development of these relations between the different
>> forms of presentations of the museum means towards the object without
>> necessarily articulating the differences between the two. One advantage was
>> that boundary objects focus on the materiality, which, as already
>> mentioned, is not about materials in themselves, but about consequences in
>> action. From the point of view of the persons implicated in the process,
>> the museum space as object of design was an issue in and through the
>> working with some material, some form of presenting it or changing it. Both
>> object and instrument seemed to be moments of a same experience. But I
>> still want to learn what we may get out of making the distinction between
>> object and tool, as Engeström and colleagues do (so I should perhaps read
>> more carefully their study rather than be here thinking aloud).
>> Any thoughts?
>>
>> Alfredo
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
>> Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>> Sent: 21 July 2015 14:38
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
>>
>> Henry, anything. But the point is objects which play some
>> role in mediating the relation between subjects, probably a
>> symbolic role, but possibly an instrumental role, too, and
>> one subject challenges that role and turns the object into
>> its opposite, and changes the terms of collaboration.
>> A number of examples spring to mind.
>>
>>    * Loaded, especially pejorative words, such as Queer, are
>>      embraced by a despised group who take control of the
>>      word and assertively embrace it;
>>    * The post-WW2 women's peace movement who deployed their
>>      stereotype as housewives and mothers to magnificant effect;
>>    * ISIS's hatred and fear of women turned into a weapon
>>      against them by Kurdish women fighters (ISIS flee before
>>      them rather than in shame);
>>    * The Chartists who turned the British govt's stamp which
>>      put newspapers out of reach of workers against them by
>>      printing the Northern Star as a stamped newspaper and
>>      obliging workers to club together in groups to buy and
>>      read it, thus making the paper into a glorious
>>      organising tool;
>>    * the naming of Palestine and the Occupied Territory /
>>      Israel is the struggle over the meaning of a shared
>>      object (the land);
>>    * Gandhi's use of the landloom as both a weapon and tool
>>      for Indian independence and self-sufficiency, raising it
>>      from the status of obsolete and inferior technology to a
>>      symbol of India.
>>
>> In think this is not what Susan Leigh Star had in mind when
>> she introduced the term, but core point is that  the
>> ideological construction placed upon an object is subject to
>> contestation, and if successful, the re-marking of an
>> artefact is a tremendously powerful spur to subjectivity.
>>
>> Yrjo raises the question: is the"boundary object" a
>> mediating artefact or the object of work
>> (/Arbeitsgegenstand/)? I think the answer is that in these
>> cases it is a mediating artefact, tool or symbols according
>> to context. In principle it is not the Object in the
>> Engestromian sense, though it might happen to be.
>>
>> Andy
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> *Andy Blunden*
>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>> On 21/07/2015 12:27 PM, HENRY SHONERD wrote:
>>
>>> Rolf, Alfredo, Andy,
>>> I got to thinking about the photographs as boundary objects. What about
>>> video?
>>> Henry
>>>
>>>
>>>  On Jul 20, 2015, at 6:07 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Yes, thinking about this overnight, I came to see that it was the
>>>> photographs that Thomas was endeavouring to turn to use to recover his
>>>> humanity. This is consonant with how Yrjo was using the idea in relation to
>>>> the subsistence farmers' movement in Mexico and their corn.
>>>> Thanks Rolf!
>>>> Andy
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>> On 21/07/2015 3:04 AM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> This makes sense to me, Andy. I could also interpret the photographs
>>>>> as boundary objects as they support the coordination of therapy activities
>>>>> between Thomas and the nurse. I think it depends on the aspect of activity
>>>>> one is attempting to explore as opposed to the definite identification of
>>>>> what may or may not be a boundary object. This is only my opinion though!
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 3:49 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>>>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>      Or alternatively, the boundary object in question is
>>>>>      Thomas's aged body, which is subject to an
>>>>>      interpretation which Thomas contests by showing
>>>>>      photographs of far away places and explaining how
>>>>>      well-travelled he is, seeking an interpretation of
>>>>>      himself as a well-travelled and experiences
>>>>>      man-of-the-world.
>>>>>      Does that make better sense?
>>>>>      Andy
>>>>>      ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>      *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>      http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>>>      <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>      On 20/07/2015 11:27 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>          Yes, I agree. My own interest is in social theory
>>>>>          and I'd never heard of "boundary objects." It
>>>>>          seems to me that what BOs do is introduce some
>>>>>          social theory into domains of activity (scientific
>>>>>          and work collaborations for example) where the
>>>>>          participants naively think they are collaborating
>>>>>          on neutral ground. So it is not just granularity,
>>>>>          but also the ideological context.
>>>>>
>>>>>          In Yjro Engestrom's article, the home care workers
>>>>>          collaborate with the old couple according to rules
>>>>>          and regulations, communications resources,
>>>>>          technology, finance and so on, which in the
>>>>>          unnamed country, the old couple are apparently
>>>>>          cast as "patients". Isn't it the case that here it
>>>>>          is those rules and regulations, etc., which are
>>>>>          the "boundary objects"?
>>>>>
>>>>>          Andy
>>>>>          ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>          *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>          http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>>>          <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>          On 20/07/2015 11:13 PM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>              I think that a particular institution or
>>>>>              government system could potentially be a
>>>>>              boundary object depending on how the concept
>>>>>              is applied. Star describes three criteria: 1)
>>>>>              interpretive flexibility 2) material/
>>>>>              organizational structure and 3) scale/
>>>>>              granularity in which the concept is useful.
>>>>>
>>>>>              She argues that boundary objects are typically
>>>>>              most useful at the organizational level - so I
>>>>>              would say that one would have to justify the
>>>>>              utility of applying the concept to a
>>>>>              particular institution, as opposed to, say, an
>>>>>              object within an institution.
>>>>>
>>>>>              On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Andy Blunden
>>>>>              <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                  Phew!
>>>>>                  So would it be correct to describe the
>>>>>              government
>>>>>                  institutions and political system are
>>>>>              "boundary objects"?
>>>>>                  Andy
>>>>>
>>>>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>                  *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>              http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>>>              <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>                  <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>                  On 20/07/2015 9:42 PM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                      Hi Andy -
>>>>>                      Good catch! I believe that is a typo
>>>>>              and should
>>>>>                      read "despite a LACK of consensus".
>>>>>              Thank you for
>>>>>                      pointing that out.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                      I also wanted to follow up on a
>>>>>              suggestion that
>>>>>                      Greg made in the other thread
>>>>>              suggesting we look
>>>>>                      at David McNeill's work. I had only
>>>>>              been familiar
>>>>>                      with his earlier work on gesture, but
>>>>>              after doing
>>>>>                      a bit of reading over the weekend, I
>>>>>              found his
>>>>>                      concept of  'unexpected metaphors'
>>>>>              potentially
>>>>>                      useful in dealing with some of my
>>>>>              questions.(
>>>>>
>>>>> http://mcneilllab.uchicago.edu/pdfs/unexpected_metaphors.pdf
>>>>>                      )
>>>>>
>>>>>                      Here is a relevant quote describing
>>>>>              unexpected
>>>>>                      metaphors as a form of gesture:
>>>>>
>>>>>                          /The logic is that unexpected
>>>>>              metaphors arise
>>>>>                      from the
>>>>>                          need to create images when the
>>>>>              culture does
>>>>>                      not have
>>>>>                          them readily at hand. These images
>>>>>              join linguistic
>>>>>                          content as growth points and
>>>>>              differentiate what
>>>>>                          Vygotsky (1987) called psychological
>>>>>                      predicates, or
>>>>>                          points of contrast in the
>>>>>              immediate ongoing
>>>>>                      context of
>>>>>                          speaking. Unexpected metaphors,
>>>>>              precisely
>>>>>                      because they
>>>>>                          are outside the conventions of
>>>>>              language and
>>>>>                      culture,
>>>>>                          can capture abstractions in novel
>>>>>              ways and
>>>>>                      provide the
>>>>>                          fluidity of thought and language
>>>>>              that is the
>>>>>                      essence
>>>>>                          of ongoing discourse./
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                      On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM, Andy
>>>>>              Blunden
>>>>>                      <ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
>>>>>                      <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>                      <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>              <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                          Rolf, what did you mean by "the
>>>>>              achievement of
>>>>>                          cooperation despite consensus"?
>>>>>                          p. 131,
>>>>>
>>>>>                          Andy
>>>>>
>>>>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>                          *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>              http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>>>              <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>                      <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>                          <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>                          On 17/07/2015 8:45 AM, Rolf Steier
>>>>>              wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                              Are we allowed to ask
>>>>>              questions about our
>>>>>                      paper as
>>>>>                              well? I hope so!
>>>>>
>>>>>                              For a little context -in our
>>>>>              paper, we
>>>>>                      identified
>>>>>                              particular kinds of
>>>>>                              episodes in which participants
>>>>>              from different
>>>>>                              disciplines seek coherence
>>>>>                              and continuity of shared
>>>>>              representations
>>>>>                      through
>>>>>                              bodily action. These
>>>>>                              actions include gesture,
>>>>>              movement and physical
>>>>>                              performance linking the
>>>>>                              present material artifacts to
>>>>>              objects of
>>>>>                      design.
>>>>>                              Most of these episodes
>>>>>                              seem to involve some form of
>>>>>              improvisation,
>>>>>                              resourcefulness or creativity,
>>>>>                              and I'm not fully sure how to
>>>>>              characterize
>>>>>                      these
>>>>>                              aspects of the
>>>>>                              interactions. In most cases, the
>>>>>                      participants seem
>>>>>                              to be searching for the
>>>>>                              best words or material
>>>>>              representation to
>>>>>                      convey a
>>>>>                              particular intention -
>>>>>                              when this becomes problematic
>>>>>              or limiting
>>>>>                      - they
>>>>>                              almost fall back on what
>>>>>                              is available - these
>>>>>              improvised bodily
>>>>>                              performances - as a way of
>>>>>                              maintaining continuity, and of
>>>>>              inviting
>>>>>                              co-participants into a shared and
>>>>>                              imagined space. These bodily
>>>>>              actions don't
>>>>>                      seem to
>>>>>                              begin the proposals, but
>>>>>                              are in a sense *discovered* by the
>>>>>                      participants.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                              I think there is something
>>>>>              really fascinating
>>>>>                              about this kind of creativity
>>>>>                              and resourcefulness in
>>>>>              interaction that
>>>>>                      could be
>>>>>                              explored more deeply - and
>>>>>                              that I'm having trouble
>>>>>              articulating.
>>>>>                      Maybe some
>>>>>                              of you have some thoughts
>>>>>                              on this? Alfredo - I know
>>>>>              we've talked
>>>>>                      about this
>>>>>                              a bit before so maybe you
>>>>>                              can add a little clarity to my
>>>>>              question.
>>>>>
>>>>>                              On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 9:37
>>>>>              PM, HENRY SHONERD
>>>>>                              <hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>>>
>>>>>                              wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  Alfredo,
>>>>>                                  Thank you very much for
>>>>>              the sketch of your
>>>>>                                  roots. I taught English in
>>>>>                                  Puigcerda and Barcelona
>>>>>              for 5 years
>>>>>                      back in
>>>>>                                  the early 70s, just before
>>>>>                                  Franco died. (He died the
>>>>>              day I
>>>>>                      boarded the
>>>>>                                  plane back to the U.S.) Place
>>>>>                                  and language are interesting,
>>>>>                      especially where
>>>>>                                  language varieties meet.
>>>>>                                  Boundaries. I know mostly
>>>>>              from my
>>>>>                      familiarity
>>>>>                                  with the music of Catalunya
>>>>>                                  and Mallorca that the speech
>>>>>                      communities in
>>>>>                                  each of those places treasure
>>>>>                                  their unique languages
>>>>>              (Catalan and
>>>>>                                  Mallorquin), yet see a
>>>>>              commonality
>>>>>                                  vis-a-vis their
>>>>>              separateness from
>>>>>                      Castilian
>>>>>                                  Spanish, the national language
>>>>>                                  of Spain from 1492 on. I
>>>>>              see a parallel
>>>>>                                  between your work on boundary
>>>>>                                  objects, where individual
>>>>>              persons
>>>>>                      collaborate
>>>>>                                  to create spaces, AND
>>>>>                                  boundary objects
>>>>>              "negotiated" by groups of
>>>>>                                  people who live in real
>>>>>              spaces.
>>>>>                                  I am thinking, among other
>>>>>              things, of
>>>>>                                  indigeneity, a big topic
>>>>>              here in New
>>>>>                                  Mexico, with so many
>>>>>              Native Americans.
>>>>>                                  Assymetries of power.
>>>>>              Bullying.
>>>>>                                  Testing and curriculum become
>>>>>                      instruments of
>>>>>                                  war by other means. I hope my
>>>>>                                  tone does not distract
>>>>>              from, nor
>>>>>                      diminish, the
>>>>>                                  optimism created by this
>>>>>                                  thread. Yet I think that
>>>>>              optimism is so
>>>>>                                  precious because of the
>>>>>              ground (the
>>>>>                                  world) of the dialog.
>>>>>                                  Henry
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      On Jul 16, 2015, at
>>>>>              12:13 PM, Alfredo
>>>>>                                      Jornet Gil
>>>>>              <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>>>                      <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>>>>                                                 <mailto:
>>>>> a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>>>                      <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      Well, you could say
>>>>>              that I am partly
>>>>>                                      Catalan. I grew up in
>>>>>              the province
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  of Valencia, where Catalan
>>>>>              language is
>>>>>                                  official language together
>>>>>              with
>>>>>                                  Castilian Spanish.
>>>>>              Although Valencia (the
>>>>>                                  county) and Catalonia are
>>>>>                                  different regional
>>>>>              counties, Catalan
>>>>>                      is spoken
>>>>>                                  in Catalonia, Valencia, and
>>>>>                                  the Balear Islands. Some
>>>>>              call the three
>>>>>                                  together as the Catalan
>>>>>              Countries.
>>>>>                                  I don't like borders, but
>>>>>              I respect
>>>>>                      and enjoy
>>>>>                                  cultural diversity.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      Standardized testing,
>>>>>              and the whole
>>>>>                                      assumptions behind it,
>>>>>              are an issue
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  also in Spain and in
>>>>>              Catalonia; but
>>>>>                      education
>>>>>                                  has been so battered during
>>>>>                                  the last years of right-wing
>>>>>                      government that I
>>>>>                                  the debate have been more
>>>>>                                  about means and access
>>>>>              than about
>>>>>                      contents and
>>>>>                                  aims. Which in some sense
>>>>>                                  may be good because it
>>>>>              moves the
>>>>>                      debates away
>>>>>                                  from performance. But I have
>>>>>                                  been living outside of
>>>>>              Spain for eight
>>>>>                      years
>>>>>                                  now, so I am not the best to
>>>>>                                  update you on this either.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      Best wishes,
>>>>>                                      Alfredo
>>>>>              ________________________________________
>>>>>                                      From:
>>>>>              xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>              <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>                                             <mailto:
>>>>> iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>>> on
>>>>>                                  behalf of
>>>>>                                  HENRY SHONERD
>>>>>              <hshonerd@gmail.com <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
>>>>>                                  <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      Sent: 16 July 2015 19:54
>>>>>                                      To: eXtended Mind,
>>>>>              Culture, Activity
>>>>>                                      Subject: [Xmca-l] Re:
>>>>>              The Emergence of
>>>>>                                      Boundary Objects
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      Alfredo,
>>>>>                                      Yes, you have answered
>>>>>              my question
>>>>>                      very
>>>>>                                      nicely! I especially
>>>>>              appreciate
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  that you were willing to
>>>>>              wrestle with my
>>>>>                                  question, despite your lack of
>>>>>                                  familiarity with the
>>>>>              issues here in
>>>>>                      the U.S.
>>>>>                                  Am I wrong, or are you
>>>>>                                  Catalan? In which case
>>>>>              your experience in
>>>>>                                  Catalunya would take you to a
>>>>>                                  different place in critiquing
>>>>>                      schooling there,
>>>>>                                  though not necessarily
>>>>>                                  unconnected to yours and
>>>>>              Rolf's work on
>>>>>                                  boundary objects. I just
>>>>>              met for
>>>>>                                  the second day in a row
>>>>>              with a friend
>>>>>                      who is
>>>>>                                  the liaison between our public
>>>>>                                  school district and a
>>>>>              children's science
>>>>>                                  museum called Explora. I
>>>>>              feel like
>>>>>                                  I'm swimming in this
>>>>>              thread, talk about a
>>>>>                                  mixed metaphor!
>>>>>
>>>>>                                      Henry
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          On Jul 16, 2015,
>>>>>              at 12:18 AM,
>>>>>                      Alfredo
>>>>>                                          Jornet Gil
>>>>>                      <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>>>>                                                     <mailto:
>>>>> a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>>>                      <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          I am sorry, Henry,
>>>>>              but I am
>>>>>                      not very
>>>>>                                          familiar with
>>>>>              high-stakes
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  standardized testing (as
>>>>>              different to
>>>>>                                  standardized testing in
>>>>>              general) or
>>>>>                                  with common core (which I
>>>>>              quickly read
>>>>>                      is an
>>>>>                                  issue in US). But I would say
>>>>>                                  that, if (school)
>>>>>              curricula were to be
>>>>>                                  consistent with the view of
>>>>>                                  education as the practice
>>>>>              of creating
>>>>>                                  conditions for certain
>>>>>              attitudes and
>>>>>                                  dispositions to
>>>>>              emerge--which is what
>>>>>                      I was
>>>>>                                  suggesting in the
>>>>>              paragraph you
>>>>>                                  copy--curricula would not
>>>>>              be so much about
>>>>>                                  standardized contents, but
>>>>>              about
>>>>>                                  human sensitivities and
>>>>>              relations. So,
>>>>>                      I would
>>>>>                                  say, no, standardized
>>>>>                                  testing is not in
>>>>>              principle in line
>>>>>                      with what
>>>>>                                  I was trying to say.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          I was trying to
>>>>>              make a distinction
>>>>>                                          between trying to
>>>>>              design someone's
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  particular experience, and
>>>>>              trying to
>>>>>                      design
>>>>>                                  conditions for the development
>>>>>                                  of attitudes and
>>>>>              orientations. The
>>>>>                      first is
>>>>>                                  likely impossible. The second
>>>>>                                  seems to make more sense.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          One may of course
>>>>>              wonder
>>>>>                      whether those
>>>>>                                          attitudes and
>>>>>              orientations can
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  be considered general, and
>>>>>              then form
>>>>>                      part of
>>>>>                                  standardize measures instead
>>>>>                                  of the traditional
>>>>>              "contents and
>>>>>                      skills". But
>>>>>                                  measuring assumes some
>>>>>                                  quantitative increment in
>>>>>              a particular
>>>>>                      aspect
>>>>>                                  as the result of learning.
>>>>>                                  Growth and development,
>>>>>              however, are about
>>>>>                                  qualitative change. So, as
>>>>>              soon
>>>>>                                  as you start measuring you
>>>>>              would be
>>>>>                      missing
>>>>>                                  growth and development. So,
>>>>>                                  again, no. I would not say
>>>>>              that
>>>>>                      high-stakes
>>>>>                                  standardized testing is in
>>>>>              line
>>>>>                                  with what I was trying to say.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          I hope I have
>>>>>              answered your
>>>>>                      question,
>>>>>                                          Alfredo
>>>>>                      ________________________________________
>>>>>                                          From:
>>>>>              xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>              <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>>                                             <mailto:
>>>>> iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>>> on
>>>>>                                  behalf of
>>>>>                                  HENRY SHONERD
>>>>>              <hshonerd@gmail.com <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
>>>>>                                  <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>
>>>>>                      <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com
>>>>>              <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          Sent: 16 July 2015
>>>>>              07:48
>>>>>                                          To: eXtended Mind,
>>>>>              Culture,
>>>>>                      Activity
>>>>>                                          Subject: [Xmca-l]
>>>>>              Re: The
>>>>>                      Emergence of
>>>>>                                          Boundary Objects
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          Alfredo, you say:
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          "However, we
>>>>>              cannot aim at
>>>>>                      determining
>>>>>                                          any particular
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  situation/experience. The
>>>>>              same may be said
>>>>>                                  about EDUCATION. We cannot
>>>>>                                  intend to communicate the
>>>>>              curriculum
>>>>>                      and make
>>>>>                                  it the content of the
>>>>>                                  students' experience in
>>>>>              the way we
>>>>>                      intend. But
>>>>>                                  we can try to create the
>>>>>                                  conditions for certain
>>>>>              attitudes and
>>>>>                                  dispositions to emerge."
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          Would you say that
>>>>>              high-stakes
>>>>>                                          standardized
>>>>>              testing is in
>>>>>                      line with
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  your construal of
>>>>>              curriculum design?
>>>>>                      How about
>>>>>                                  common core?
>>>>>
>>>>>                                          Henry
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                              On Jul 15,
>>>>>              2015, at 5:29 PM,
>>>>>                                              Alfredo Jornet Gil
>>>>>                                                         <
>>>>> a.j.gil@iped.uio.no <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>>>                      <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>>>                      <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>>              <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>                                              Thanks a lot
>>>>>              for the
>>>>>
>>>>> clarifications. I see now
>>>>>                      why it
>>>>>                                              may be said that
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  designers can aim at
>>>>>              designing for
>>>>>                      constrains
>>>>>                                  but not for affordances. I
>>>>>                                  see that this way of
>>>>>              talking is part of a
>>>>>                                  designers' way to get things
>>>>>                                  done, and that it may
>>>>>              indeed be an
>>>>>                      effective
>>>>>                                  way to design for
>>>>>                                  place-making, as in the
>>>>>              example that
>>>>>                      Michael
>>>>>                                  gives of MOMA. Indeed, much of
>>>>>                                  what we report in our
>>>>>              study is about
>>>>>                      designers
>>>>>                                  talking about how spatial
>>>>>                                  features might afford some
>>>>>              experiences
>>>>>                      in the
>>>>>                                  museum while constraining
>>>>>                                  others.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                              I must admit,
>>>>>              however, that I
>>>>>                                              still consider
>>>>>              the distinction
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  problematic from an
>>>>>              analytical perspective
>>>>>                                  whenever our object of
>>>>>              study is
>>>>>                                  experience, situated
>>>>>              action, or design as
>>>>>                                  situated practice. A more
>>>>>              correct
>>>>>                                  way to talk is that
>>>>>              affordances and
>>>>>                      constrains
>>>>>                                  are the positive and
>>>>>                                  negative
>>>>>              sides/interpretations of a single
>>>>>                                  unitary category. As an actual
>>>>>                                  and concrete phenomenon,
>>>>>              walking into
>>>>>                      a musuem
>>>>>                                  implies both affordances and
>>>>>                                  constrains at the same
>>>>>              time, whether
>>>>>                      intended
>>>>>                                  or not. Which makes me wonder
>>>>>                                  whether other terminology,
>>>>>              such as
>>>>>                      Ingold's
>>>>>                                  notion of "correspondence,"
>>>>>                                  might be more appropriated
>>>>>              when we
>>>>>                      talk about
>>>>>                                  how materials and actions
>>>>>                                  become entangled into
>>>>>              particular
>>>>>                      trajectories.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                              In any case,
>>>>>              and as Rolf
>>>>>                                              emphasizes,
>>>>>              what the
>>>>>                      designers in
>>>>>                                              our study
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  indeed do is to IMAGINE
>>>>>              ways of being
>>>>>                      in the
>>>>>                                  museum. Imagination versus
>>>>>                                  prediction may be an
>>>>>              interesting topic
>>>>>                                  emerging here for further
>>>>>              inquiry
>>>>>                                  into design work.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                              Another
>>>>>              important (and
>>>>>                      related)
>>>>>                                              issue that I
>>>>>              think is
>>>>>                      emerging here
>>>>>
>>>>>                                  has to do with the level
>>>>>              of generality at
>>>>>                                  which design intentions can be
>>>>>                                  expected to work (just as
>>>>>              Bateson
>>>>>                      argued with
>>>>>                                  regard to prediction). At the
>>>>>                                  level of generic social
>>>>>              processes, and
>>>>>                      given a
>>>>>                                  particular
>>>>>                                  cultural-historical
>>>>>              background, we as
>>>>>                                  designers may try to make some
>>>>>                                  generic situations more
>>>>>              likely to
>>>>>                      occur than
>>>>>                                  others (facilitating that more
>>>>>                                  or less people end up
>>>>>              together in a given
>>>>>                                  place). However, we cannot
>>>>>              aim at
>>>>>                                  determining any particular
>>>>>                                  situation/experience. The
>>>>>              same may be
>>>>>                      said about
>>>>>                                  EDUCATION. We cannot intend to
>>>>>                      communicate the
>>>>>                                  curriculum and make it the
>>>>>                                  content of the students'
>>>>>              experience in
>>>>>                      the way
>>>>>                                  we intend. But we can try to
>>>>>                                  create the conditions for
>>>>>              certain
>>>>>                      attitudes
>>>>>                                  and dispositions to emerge.
>>>>>
>>>>>                                              Alfredo
>>>>>                      ________________________________________
>>>>>                                              From:
>>>>>              xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>              <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>                      <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>
>>>>