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

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



You are right, Larry, that everything that's going on in these situation arises from the *relation between a subject and the Arbeitsgegenstand*, not the Arbeitsgegenstand alone. For example, there are hundreds of "syndromes" listed in DMV which in past times or other countries are not considered illnesses at all.
And apologies for all the silly typos in that message.
Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 23/07/2015 1:11 AM, Larry Purss wrote:
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 <mailto: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/
    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
    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
        <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>> on behalf
        of Lubomir Savov Popov <lspopov@bgsu.edu
        <mailto: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:bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu>
        [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+lspopov
        <mailto:xmca-l-bounces%2Blspopov>=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
        <mailto: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
        <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>> on behalf
        of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto: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/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
        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
                <mailto: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/
                <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
                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>
                    <mailto: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/>
                         <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/>
<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>>
                                 <mailto: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/> <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>>>
<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
                    <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/> <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>>>
<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
                    <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>>>
                    <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
                    <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>>>
<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
                    <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>>>
                    <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
                    <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>>>
<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
                    <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>>>
                    <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
                    <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>>>
<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
                    <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>>>
                    <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
                    <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>>>
<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
                    <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>>>
<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
                    <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
                    <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
<mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
                    <mailto:iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu>