Re: [xmca] LCA-- transparency

Date: Wed Jul 06 2005 - 06:20:54 PDT



I believe your question harkens back to the conversation regarding "unit of measure" for Activity Theory.  There is not the clear and concise word attached to the specificity of what is being measured and of course as I have stated before there may not ever be this unique and distinct word available.  


Pertaining to the new employee at a new job example; there will be actions that will be done without a prespecified goal and ther will be activity that revolves around a specific job goal.  Some of the tools used will be transparent and some will be akward and unfamiliar.  I am of the ilk that the activity related to the specific job goal is what is of interest to the social scientist and the automatic actions are merely "white noise" of the study.


whattaya think?


"ruqaiya hasan" <Ruqaiya.Hasan who-is-at>
Sent by:
07/05/2005 03:42 PM ZE10
Please respond to xmca

To: <>
Subject: Re: [xmca] LCA-- transparency

I came into this debate a little late; I am, besides, not familiar with the
language of description for talking of activity. So please bear with me. I
am puzzled.

My puzzlement is as follows: why should we deny the status of activity to
human actions which have become automatised/automatic? A fundamentalist is
most probably acting automatically in denigrating someone who goes against
their belief . But this action can have very far reaching effects on our
social existence. Or is this not one of the important points about activity
as social practice?

Is it not possible to think in terms of actions which implicate/assume an
other e.g. talking, and actions which are limited to the body of the doer
e.g. yawning. Now one interesting thing is that when one goes against the
social modes of performing the latter type (which are essentially
non-mediating) it comes to have a meaning that maybe quite potent eg if I
saw you yawning as you read this message I might wonder if you are implying
"how boring!"

All this may be quite beside the point of your discussion -- and so I
shouldn't go on. I guess it is a serious issue how to define/recognise the
distinction between activity and action (eg in the activity of reading and
the action of turning the pages). Rom Harre had some interesting thoughts on


----- Original Message -----
From: "Wolff-Michael Roth" <>
To: "eXtended Media, Culture, Activity" <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 8:24 AM
Subject: Re: [xmca] LCA-- transparency

Mike and all,

>  1. For the novice, can "learning to drive the car" be considered an
> activity in and of itself? Say, for a 15 1/2 year old? Or it better
> considered a complex form of action, where the motive is to gain
> independence, etc?

We cannot answer this question other than by looking at some concrete
situation. Take a driving school. Evidently, this is a form of activity
that has formed from previous forms of activity in a division of labor
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