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



Er: "macro-unit of activity", not "macro-unity".
:( Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 24/07/2015 12:10 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
Hi Manfred, I am delighted to hear your voice again on this list. I understand what you are saying. I will try to better explain how I stand with A N Leontyev.

I am a social theorist, that is I am interested in changing societal arrangements (to put it very politely), and I am one of few social theorists, properly so-called, who base themselves on Vygotsky's theories, and use Activity Theory as well. My position is a contradictory one because Vygotsky and Leontyev were psychologists (like you) and not social theorists. Social Theorists and Psychologists generally live in different buildings on the university campus, in different departments, publish in different journals, refer to different founding theorists, and altogether inhabit different universes. Social theorists have ideas about psychology, but generally not scientific ones, and vice versa. In my opinion, Vygotsky's ideas provide an excellent foundation for social theory because he introduced into human development and every interaction between two individuals a culturally produced sign. But he only went so far. He showed how people acted and developed within their social situation, but he did not tackle the problem of how that situation arose. Leontyev, by his discovery of the Activity as a macro-unity of activity, made an epoch-making development which opened CHAT to become a fully developed social-and-psychological theory. But what he said himself on questions of social theory was of very poor quality, as I said, "Neanderthal." Not the sort of ideas that would win any following among social theorists today. But he was after all a Psychologist and not a Social Theorist, so he is forgiven.

Now, to your point. If I am not mistaken "objective meaning" is not a psychological category at all for Leontyev. Yes? And personal sense is, as you eloquently explain, a fundamental Psychological category. So if what I said were to be interpreted to say that personal sense is a subset of objective meaning, that would be quite wrong. While I accept (as I must) a categorical difference between material objects/processes and their reflection in my mind, I do not at all understand societal processes as nonpsychological processes. I try to conceive of them together in one unit, and I think I am on my own there (some Freudian/Phenomenologists aside). There remains of course the distinction between the individual (Einzeln) and the universal (Allgemein), mediated by the particular (Besonder). A human individual is something radically different from a number of individuals. For the human individual and how they erleben a social situation, I rely on my friends and collaborator-psychologists. I am interested in how the Activities go. In small part to avoid having arguments with followers of Leontyev I call activities "projects." So I reserve the right to say things about projects without a follower of Leontyev correcting me. "Project" is not a mysterious or esoteric concept; every English-speaker knows what a project is, and if there is any confusion with projects as defined by Existentialists, I call them "collaborative projects." (i.e., people usually join them, not create them). These include capitalist firms, political parties, sporting clubs or indeed whole sports, a family, a professional career - all those things which gives our lives mening while we build the world we and our children must live in, what Fedor Vasilyuk called an отношение . A project is not a collection of people, it is an aggregate of actions (like an Activity) and the "logic" of projects is something different from Psychology, but it is inclusive of Psychology as well. A project is a kind of psychological phenomenon, but it is also much more than psychology, because, as you remind us, people regulate their own behaviour using signs created in the world beyond their ken. Projects are the material substance of Concepts, and I rely on Vygotsky for a Psychology of concepts. OK?

Everything you said (except how you characterised my ideas) I agree with. Complex business isn't it?!

Andy


------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 23/07/2015 10:37 PM, Holodynski, Manfred wrote:
Hi Andy,
with great interest, I follow the discussion and your interpretation of A N Leontyev's contradiction between subjective sense and objective meaning. As far as I interpret ANL he presented a very elegant solution of the relation between sense and meaning: For ANL, subjective sense is not a part or subset of objective meaning (as you seem to insinuate him), but a psychological quality that emerges when a person uses societal signs and their objective meanings in order to regulate his or her socially embedded activity. What happens is a transformation of societal meanings into the personal sense of those involved. The personal sense that an individual assigns to interactions, facts, and experiences through the use of signs can be conceptualized not as a subset of societal meanings but as a particular sphere of mind that is constituted by two psychological factors in particular (a) the relation to the motives of the person, and (b) the relation to the situated and sensorially mediated experiences of the individual within the process of internalization. a) People do not appropriate the use of signs and their meanings during social interactions in an impartial way. They interpret and use them in the light of their actually elicited motives along with the motives they assign to the interaction partner. The societal meaning of the used signs does not have to match the individually assigned personal sense. For example, an outsider may well interpret a public fit of rage by a low-ranking bank employee toward his superior as an inexcusable violation of social etiquette. However, for the menial employee, it may well be a reassertion of self-esteem in response to a humiliating directive. b) The personal sense of sign-use is also determined by the situatedness and sensory mediation of the previous encounters in which the use of signs is (or was) embedded. Societal meanings are coded primarily not by propositional phrases (e.g., “a dog is a mammal” or “wide-open eyes signal fear”) but through their ties to sensorially mediated and situated perceptions—as complex as these interrelations may be (Leont’ev, 1978). For example, two persons can use propositional phrases to agree on the same definition of the term “dog” or “fear.” These terms, however, will be situated very differently and enriched with other sensory perceptions when one person grew up with a very likeable family dog and the other person experienced a highly dramatic episode with an overpoweringly large and aggressive dog. Thus, conventionalized signs and the meanings assigned to them are subject to an interpersonal process of interpretation and coordination that more or less successfully supports the embodiment and expression of personal sense. People do not have a private “speech” at their disposal that they can construct and use on their own (Wittgenstein). Therefore, they depend on the appropriation and use of conventionalized signs when they want to communicate successfully and satisfy their motives in social interactions. By an act of reflection, the person can try to realize and to become aware of his personal relation and sense of the situation and the used signs, but also this reflection has to fall back on societal signs in order to express this personal relations. So, this is the overall tension between objective meaning of an event or an object and its personal sense for a specific person.
Best
Manfred

Prof. Dr. Manfred Holodynski
Institut für Psychologie in Bildung und Erziehung
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Fliednerstr. 21
D-48149 Münster
+49-(0)-251-83-34311
+49-(0)-251-83-34310 (Sekretariat)
+49-(0)-251-83-34314 (Fax)
http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/Psychologie.inst5/AEHolodynski/index.html
manfred.holodynski@uni-muenster.de

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: xmca-l-bounces+manfred.holodynski=uni-muenster.de@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+manfred.holodynski=uni-muenster.de@mailman.ucsd.edu] Im Auftrag von Andy Blunden
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 23. Juli 2015 06:32
An: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Cc: Geoffrey C. Bowker
Betreff: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects

I was waiting to see what Lubomir would say in response to my post to take it from there, Mike, but I will try to respond as best I can to the question about subjectivism and objectivism. When I first remarked in my 2009 paper that I thought that A N Leontyev was too much of an objectivist, Morten Nissen remarked that that was odd, because in Europe ATists thought he was too subjective. So there you are! Activity Theory as propounded by ANL is a theory of Psychology, and yet I want to use AT as a foundation for social theory, so my claim does seem anomalous.

What it comes down to is the insistence of ANL in interpreting contradictions between the "subjective sense" and the "objective meaning" of an activity in terms of the social vs. the individual. This reduces subjectivity to a matter of the capriciousness of the individual mind or the underdevelopment of the child mind. This is hardly objectionable in the domain of child development, but in the domain of social theory it is a Neanderthal position. Social life is made up of a multiplicity of standpoints among which none have the right to claim unproblematic "objective truth" for themselves. This is the basis on which I describe ANL as giving too much to the Object. Engestrom on the other hand, is different, but people's intentions are relegated to "phenomenological investigation" which are preliminary to the investigation itself. I see Engestrom's approach as a kind of social behaviourist approach in which change occurs only thanks to "contradictions" at different levels in the "system." My aim in proposing to see the "system" as a "project" at one or another phase in its life cycle aims to restore the purposiveness of human action to Activity Theory. The interpretation of purposes and intentions in social science is a challenge, but I believe that with the aid of Hegel it can be met.

I am happy to join Rubinshtein and declare "All the the Subject!" though I know nothing at all of his work.

The problem with your question about Boundary Objects, Mike, is that though I knew nothing of them a little while ago, I can now see 3 different meanings of the term. So perhaps Geoffrey is in the best position to answer this question, and I look forward to his answer.

Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 23/07/2015 2:13 PM, mike cole wrote:
Andy/Lubomir--

I am overwhelmed by this thread so this's query may be badly timed. But .... I recall Lubomir writing that AT was centered on the subject. And now Andy is gesturing to Strands of AT theory that give
everything to the object.

Question-- isn't this a version of Rubenshtein/Leontiev schools' conflict? Or LSV "vs" AN L on the problem of the environment?

Or?

What is at stake here theoretically and practically?
Mike
PS. I am still trying to absorb the multifaceted discussion of boundary object. I almost want to ask -- what forms of joint mediated activity do not involve boundary objects? But I am pretty sure that not knowing the answer to this question is a result of the richness of
the discussion.

It's fair to say that XMCA is a boundary object??
Mike

On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
<mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

     That is exactly right, Larry, I am advocating a
     humanism, in opposition to poststructuralism,
     structuralism Marxism, and strands of Activity Theory
     which give everything to the Object.
     Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
     *Andy Blunden*
     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
     On 23/07/2015 2:24 AM, Lplarry wrote:

         Here is a quote from the introduction of "The
         Cambridge Handbook of Merleau-Ponty on the topic
         of the subject.

         "Foucault's archaeological studies of the early
         1970's, most notably "The Order of Things" and
         "The Archaeology of Knowledge", did perhaps more
         than any other work of the period to LEGITIMIZE
         conceiving of processes without subjects."

         This is an "antihumanist" program as Foucault saw
         the failure of phenomenology and the residual
         links between subjectivism and anthropology.

         The force of Foucault's argument was tying the
         philosophy of the subject to what he saw as an
         outmoded humanism.

It may be what Andy is highlighting is a new humanism.




------------------------------------------------------------ From: Lubomir Savov Popov <mailto:lspopov@bgsu.edu>
         Sent: ‎2015-‎07-‎22 8:55 AM
         To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
         <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>; Andy Blunden
         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary
         Objects

         Hi Alfredo,

         The object doesn't carry in itself the motive and
         the purpose of activity. Actually, depending on
         the motive and purpose of activity, the object can
         be approached in many different ways.

         It is true that the relationship between the
         object and the subject caries the
         purpose/goal/objective/motive of activity. This
         type of relationship might has several aspects and
         the teleological aspect is one of them. Actually,
         in AT, the teleological aspect is central one
         among all aspects of Subject-Object relationships.

         The teleological aspect in AT is envisaged at
         several levels with distinctive teleological
         phenomena: motivation, goal, etc.

         It is difficult to find diagrams of the structure
         of activity with its three levels. I just tried to
         do that and in most cases I got the famous
         "triangle." The internet is dominated by English
         language texts where the authors evidently use
         that version of activity theory. The three
         structural levels of activity might be found in t

         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: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 11:25 AM
         To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; Andy Blunden
         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary
         Objects

         That was a very helpful entry, Andy. Thanks!
         I see that our treatment of object in the paper is
         very much in line with the notion of
         Arbeitsgegenstand as you describe it.

         I have many questions, most of which I should find
         in the literature rather than bother here. But I
         would like to ask one here. It concerns the quote
         that the object "carries in itself the purpose and
         motive of the activity." What does "in itself"
         mean here?
         Thanks again for a very informative post,
         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: 22 July 2015 08:31
         To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary
         Objects

         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
<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/
         <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> 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>> 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 11:1

         [The entire original message is not included.]




--

Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & Storch,
Ecological Niche, 2008)