Yes, it is true that the history of working unions has a long and bloody
history. I grew up with a grandson of a union organizer from the mining
region of Minnesota. The union organizer met fate in the guise of severed
breaklines on his truck!
My point was not to discount the union. My point was that when studying
the development of people's actions in the work environment it is important
to clarify if what being studied is individual development over a period of
time - idiographic; or is the development of a work trait across a
my knowledge of carpenter's unions comes from trying to get my students
involved in the trades. "Journeyman" carptenters install sheetrock but
they do not tape or "mud" the drywall, that is a job for a "journeyman"
<ablunden who-is-at mira.n To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
Sent by: cc:
xmca-bounces who-is-at web Subject: RE: [xmca] agency/social/individual/work
An hour's flight from where Stephen works is a tree called "The Tree of
Knowledge". Unfortunately, this tree was recently poisoned and is now dead
after living for more than a century. Under that tree on 6 May 1891,
members of the Shearers' Union met and started a process which led in 1899,
to the first workers' government since the Paris Commune taking office in
Brisbane, the city where Stephen works. When I returned to Australia from
Britain, in 1985, 44% of all workers were members of their trade union. I
don't know where your stuff about carpenters comes from Eric, but it sounds
to me like something out of mediaeval English history classes. For most of
my life (and I was born in 1945), and that of almost half of my generation
in this country, unions have been part and parcel of working life.
Obviously this is gone and forgotten about. I accept that.
Neither you, Eric, nor Stephen, have even a memory of this part of history.
Sad but true.
My only point is that this historical change and its significance is
something of which we should be aware. "Cultural Historical Activity
Theory" includes the idea of being aware of history, historical change and
how it is tied up with people's psychology.
At 09:09 AM 11/10/2006 -0500, you wrote:
>I live in the USA but my wife would place me somewhere between Frank
>Zappa's 1000 Motels and the land of oz
> <ablunden who-is-at mira.n To: "eXtended Mind,
> Culture, Activity"
> et> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> by: cc:
> xmca-bounces who-is-at web Subject: RE: [xmca]
>Which country are you in, Eric?
>At 08:43 AM 11/10/2006 -0500, you wrote:
> >Eric, just out of curiosity -- where did you come by the belief that "By
> >definition, union trade workers are masters of their craft and should
> >be studied in that context"?
> >This would be the "journeyman" position of union trade worker. Once
> >have achieved that level they have followed the different stratas,
> >(insert favorite social term here) of training they are considered to be
> >masters of their craft. When they are practicing "journeyman" they are
> >certainly acting differently than the apprentice who may be a card
> >union member. Make sense?
> >I would also like to reiterate that when studying human action it is
> >important to clarify whether a study is idiographic (an individual's
> >growth) or nomothetic (a study of a particular trait over a group of
> >For instance a study of "journeyman" carpenters may illicit the data
> >none of those studied ever do the taping of the drywall they install.
> >compared to "apprentice" carpenters who would sometimes decide to do the
> >taping. This would e a nomothetic study. An idiographic study of the
> >carpenter trade would follow the individual practice of one carpenter in
> >Maybe this only make sense to me?
> >xmca mailing list
> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
>identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651
>xmca mailing list
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