[xmca] Setsenkos' blues on CHAT

From: Ricardo Japiassu (rjapias@uol.com.br)
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 08:00:42 PDT

I like reading SETSENKO, Anna (2005) Activity as Object-Related: Resolving
the Dichotomy of Individual and Collective Planes of Activity. Mind, Culture
and Activity. San Diego: UCSD, n 12 (1), p 70-88.


Phd Anna, in my opinion, has a “direct” style and develops a non-reifyed
relation with academic rules on writing expression of thought. Despite this
she seems to be a “good girl” once she behaves under APA’s constrains and
predictable pedagogical systematic outstanding of her ideas.


This “stickness” to a non-hypertextual paradigm of text (co)llaboration
contradicts her claims of going ahead a Cartesian dualism on approaching
ACTIVITY – specially when one considers individual agency as “the ability to
produce, create, and make a difference in social Practices.” (p.78).


I always hold me thinking why we “have to” legitimize such kind of reifying
relations with academic traditions. For example: it does not makes meaning
to me one HAS to go to references at the end of an article and back to the
page in which it is pointed by an author just because APA says it has to be
that way. Why not to explicit a bibliographic reference in the same page as
occurs with notes in general - without loss of a complete relation of them
at the end of article?


Adaptation, behaviour X Interaction, activity…


“The discrepancy between the general emphasis on the transformative nature
of human development on the one hand and the limited use of this idea in
concrete conceptualizations of theoretical principles on the other, as well
as the related emphasis on the collective at the expense of individual
dimensions, was one of the major reasons for a number of subsequent
unfortunate misinterpretations in activity theory and related traditions.”


I would like to add that, to me, it was not only “reasons for …
misinterpretations” but also a source of “static” and reifyed relations
within concrete material practice.


The most part of article is a predictable critical review of Leontiev’s
Activity, Counsciousness and Personality - not because Dr. Setsenko’s
thinking cannot go beyond the obvious rather present an original approach to
activity but, in my point of view, because she preffers to be a “good girl”.


It comes now to my mind Roth’s Publish or Stay Behind and Perhaps Perish:
Stability of Publication Practices in (Some) Social Sciences (2005, Soziale
Systeme 11, 129-150)



“On the one hand, there are the objectively experienced sociomaterial [bold
mine] structures that are resources on which human beings draw in their
concrete actions – authors use »the literature« or a »word processor « as
material resources for composing a research article and may interact with
journal editors in particular ways, »because« of the latters’positions in
the scientific community. On the other hand, schemas are embodied (»mental«)
structures that allow social actors to perceive and act toward material
structures – authors at different points in their careers and with different
levels of experience view the same literature, materially embodied in
journals and books, in different ways. In a generative model of human social
action, the two forms of structure (resources, schemas) stand in a dialectic
relation rather than constituting a perfect homology, for the later leads to
a deterministic model in which no change and (individual and cultural)
development is possible.” (p. 131)



Back to Setsenko’s ideas. And using her own words to end this post:


“The major suggestion of this article has been to expand this materialist
ontology by adding a focus on the manifold transitions among material tool
production, inter-psychological processes, and human subjectivity - all
being co-evolving moments in the constant unfolding of human life and
history. The resulting approach can be termed a materialist ontology of
human subjectivity that, at the same time, entails a humanist ontology of
material practice, the two being equally important and complementary
descriptions of human life and development.” (p.86)



Anxiety because of a new delay satisfaction:


The concept of ACTIVITY still waiting for its broader understanding and
expansion. The article do not give us – academic vampires - new blood enough
to make our faces look better younger.


New blood, please…




Ricardo Japiassu

Professor Adjunto



Departamento de Educação/Campus XV - Valença/Ba

Rua do Arame, s/n

Tento - Valença

45400-000 BAHIA



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