Nardi RE: [xmca] Situated cognition vs. Socio-cultural theory

From: Tony Whitson (
Date: Tue Jul 11 2006 - 14:33:09 PDT


for a forthcoming book co-authored by Nardi


Maybe MCA should arrange for a reviewer to get pre-publication access to the


Acting with Technology
Activity Theory and Interaction Design
Victor <>
Kaptelinin and Bonnie A.
<> Nardi

Activity theory holds that the human mind is the product of our interaction
with people and artifacts in the context of everyday activity. Acting with
Technology makes the case for activity theory as a basis for understanding
our relationship with technology. Victor Kaptelinin and Bonnie Nardi
describe activity theory's principles, history, relationship to other
theoretical approaches, and application to the analysis and design of
technologies. The book provides the first systematic entry-level
introduction to the major principles of activity theory. It describes the
accumulating body of work in interaction design informed by activity theory,
drawing on work from an international community of scholars and designers.
Kaptelinin and Nardi examine the notion of the object of activity, describe
its use in an empirical study, and discuss key debates in the development of
activity theory. Finally, they outline current and future issues in activity
theory, providing a comparative analysis of the theory and its leading
theoretical competitors within interaction design: distributed cognition,
actor-network theory, and phenomenologically inspired approaches.

Victor Kaptelinin is Professor in the Department of Informatics at Umeň
University, Sweden.

Bonnie A. Nardi is Associate Professor of Informatics in the School of
Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of jim rogers- USU
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 5:22 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Situated cognition vs. Socio-cultural theory




If memory serves me well.... (i don't often count on it): Bonnie Nardi

had a good chapter comparing AT, Dist Cog, and Situated Action in her

'96 book Context and Consciousness. What might also work by providing

some theoretical insights is Barbara Rogoff's article- "observing

sociocultural activity on three planes..." (in the wertsch et. al. '95

edited volume)- at least I think it is the article I am thinking of ;)


good luck




Mary K. Bryson wrote:

> Hi All,


> I am working on a course syllabus, and thinking about the separate but

> related trajectories of situated cognition and socio-cultural theory. At

> some point in the early nineties, lots of former cognitivists started to

> sound a lot like socio-culturalists. So where do these two trajectories

> intersect and where do they remain forever apart?


> Someone may have written a really great review article or chapter that

> compares these two theoretical perspectives. If you know of such a text,

> could you let me know? I will so appreciate that.


> Mary

> ---------------

> Dr. Mary K. Bryson, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, ECPS,

> Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia

> Online Hyperlinked CV:

> Research Profile



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