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

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



Thanks Manfred. I think we are on the same page.
This "confusing struggle of different meanings" is of course nothing other than activity. That is how signs and situations acquire psychological meanings, and children learn not only by observing but by participating in those activities.
Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 25/07/2015 5:50 AM, Holodynski, Manfred wrote:
Hi Andy,
thanks for your clarification. I now think I have understood your message. You are "travelling" in the social world and discussing Leontyev's understanding of the concept of objective meaning. I can now understand your critique that he might believe that something like an objective meaning may exist or can be extracted from an analysis of social interactions. Ok, if one is going to analyze what the essence of an "objective meaning" e.g. of the word "dog" is (and all the more of abstract terms such as feminism, social justice), then one will find oneself in a confusing struggle of different meanings that are also changing with time. So, the objective meaning of a word or concept is fuzzy and of many voices. Nevertheless, people are sometimes (:-) ) able to communicate their personal sense by using words and concepts. This is not a hopeless endeavor although it sometimes and for some people fails miserably.
Your construction of a theory of collaborative projects is indeed a noteworthy proposal to deal with the societal emergence and change of the objective meanings of concepts that maintain the link between the social and psychological plane.
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 16:26
An: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Betreff: [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.ht
ml

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.ucs
d.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)