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Re: distribution and exchange

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wolff-Michael Roth" <mroth@uvic.ca>
To: <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 3:44 PM
Subject: distribution and exchange
> Has anyone worked on the fact whether it made sense to overlay
> production-consumption-exchange-distribution, which Marx discussed at
> the society level onto YE's triangle, which deals with any local,
> concretely realized activity?
> Thanks for any pointers.
> Michael

I think this is a really important point that I'd like to see discussed at
length - p(and which would draw me out of semi-lurkerdom) viz: can the
activity-theoretic tools we use to analyse specific activities just be
scaled upward to analyse the macro level? I don't think they can not least
because of the emergent properties of social structure / institutions. I
have recently been reading some of the critical realist stuff alongside
attempts to merge dialectics with 'emergentism' and they seem convincing on
this. Plus I have written a paper with a colleague which deals with the
failure of soft systems theory to adequately analyse a historical situation
precisely because it draws its boundaries around the level of what SSM calls
the 'human activity system'.

I can see that the higher levels are present as mediators within lower level
activity systems i.e. activity has to take place through them but do not
think they themselves can be understood at this level even though they are
the products of and maintained through human activity.

Is this unfair to AT? If not, how should we think about integrating it into
a broader framework?

Just thought I'd throw out a few easy questions before running for my train

Bruce Robinson

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