Re: Motives and goals: Leont'ev and Axel

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Thu Feb 05 2004 - 02:21:25 PST

I think that Wertsch uses, if Sarason uses it too, then, it
sounds good to me.
I've always been a bit bothered by the arguments over who's the true
activity theorist and who's got the official terms. In the intro to
Perspectives on Activity Theory, Engestrom and Miettinen claim that Wertsch
and Lave are close,, but that "these approaches differ in important ways
from activity theory." Engestrom, on the other hand, claims to have it
right. And as far as I can tell, the field is buying. In some of my own
recent manuscripts under review, reviewers have said that I'm not a true
activity theorist because of this detail or that, often because I see
Wertsch's work as more informative in terms of my arguments. As a result,
I've begun characterizing my work as being in the Vygotskian tradition,
rather than being real activity theory work. Looks as though I've been run
off, usually because I don't use Engestrom's terminology. I really don't
see how all this claiming of being the true inheritor of a belief system
benefits the field, or our own work.


At 08:04 PM 2/4/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>Yes, thanks. What about Sarason, and Setting vs. System?
>On Wednesday 04 February 2004 12:27 pm, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
> > I borrow more terms from Wertsch than from Engestrom. Probably because
> > I've read more of JVW and find his work and ideas more compatible with my
> > own perspective and interests.
> >
> > At 07:24 AM 2/4/2004 -0500, you wrote:
> > >Peter, You consistently used "setting" in your post, where Engestrom uses
> > >"system". But you've clearly drawn upon Leont'ev as E has. So there must
> > > be some difference in thinking here. Would you consider posting why
> > > you've gone with Sarason's term?
> > >
> > >Thanks,
> > >
> > >--
> > >--------
> > >bb

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