[Fwd: [MC-CHAT-2005] The Object in Activity Theory]

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (ana@zmajcenter.org)
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 21:43:10 PDT

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [MC-CHAT-2005] The Object in Activity Theory
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 13:17:45 -0500
From: Marken, James A <jmarken@indiana.edu>
Reply-To: MC-CHAT-2005@yahoogroups.com
To: <mc-chat-2005@yahoogroups.com>

Greetings to everyone,

I too felt that the CHAT class was helpful, and I join the others in
thanking Ana and everyone who helped put it together and make it a

It was so successful, in fact, that I think I may have to rewrite
significant portions of my dissertation. :)

Actually I'd like to start a bit of a discussion here if I could about
the Object in Activity Theory. To sum things up, in the research I did
for my dissertation, the understanding of Object that we came to in my
work with my client was that the Object in Activity Theory is analogous
to the direct object of a verb in a sentence; the direct object in a
sentence is what is acted upon by the verb, and it undergoes some change
as a result of being acted upon by the verb. In like manner, we said
that the Object of Activity is what is acted upon by the Activity
System. That made sense to my client, and we were able to move forward
with Activity Theory using that understanding of Object.

However, after reflecting on the discussion I had with my group and the
instructors therein, I think that my understanding of Object may be
somewhat out of line with conventional thinking on Activity Theory (so
far as conventional thinking on Activity Theory exists).

I've always thought that the Object was one of the least well explained
Elements of Activity, and I'd dearly love to find an article that
focuses on it. If such an article exists, could someone point me to it?
(If not, maybe I'll have to write it. :P) At any rate, would anyone like
to try and explain the Object Element in either lay or technical terms?
In the meantime, I'm going back over my readings to see if I can figure
out what all those different writers meant when they talked of Object.



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