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Re: [xmca] A question about Lewin & CHAT& Engestrom
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] A question about Lewin & CHAT& Engestrom
- From: mike cole <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 20:14:42 -0700
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Ooops, mistakenly responded only to michael. This note is in response to
one by him and lubomir.
On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I think you touch on one of the key points that advocates of a great
> dividing line between "sociocultural" theory and "cultural historical
> activity theory" put forward.
> In so far as acceptable motives for activity are given, or whether they
> are to be discovered, contested and treated critically, is taken as the
> point of division.
> When Leontiev is quoted as treating the morality of the state as the
> prescribed morality of the citizens of the USSR, we have one of many
> examples of egregious
> examples of cultural reproduction versus critical engagement.
> As I interpret it, as an example of the method of dual stimulation,
> Engestrom et al's developmental work research method is all about providing
> agency to those locally involved and places themselves in the position of
> instrument. The object is not handed down by the state, the motive always
> "just over the horizon."
> And isn't the author of the note correct in pointing out certain
> conceptual similarities between Lewin diagrams and some of Engestrom's?
> Lewin's influence on the Vygotsky circle has been widely discussed. To me,
> the way in which Luria adopts the idea of "quasineeds" with respect to the
> settings of behavior has long been a subject I return to, never
> conclusively enough.
> For the kind of design work that Lubomir is talking about, if I understand
> there is a socially agreed upon object of activity. That stabilized, it is
> possible to
> try to design, teleology in hand.
> Lets get past either-or in our conversations and see if we can get to a
> more articulate and articulate both/and understanding.
> My 2cents too.
> On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM, Glassman, Michael <email@example.com>wrote:
>> I think one of the reasons sometimes there is not that many connections
>> between Lewin and company's Action Research (it was an ensemble
>> production) and at least a number of variations of CHAT is that one of the
>> goals of Action Research is actually to challenge in place culture while a
>> strongly cultural influenced CHAT - at least to me - seems to want to work
>> within the context of culture. The original purpose of Action Research was
>> to challenge the darker side of in place cultures such as bigotry,
>> discrimination and oppression that have become part of ongoing cultural
>> practices. The focus is to make members of the community aware of how this
>> hurts a social group, both individuals and as a whole. Part of this is
>> actually bringing members of the community into the evolving process of
>> recognition, because they are the only ones who really understand what is
>> going on in the community. The focus of action research on business came
>> later, and occurred for a number of reasons, not the least of which it
>> seems to me was funding for their projects.
>> A strong cultural psychology version of CHAT sometimes, it seems to me
>> (and I know I am going to get into trouble about this) tends to view
>> cultural as almost totemic, and something researchers as outsiders need to
>> understand - then solve problems within the context of that culture. This
>> it seems to me is a very different approach to both culture and to problem
>> solving. I'm sure others might have very different views of this. Just my
>> two cents.
>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] on
>> behalf of mike cole [firstname.lastname@example.org]
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:46 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
>> Subject: [xmca] A question about Lewin & CHAT& Engestrom
>> A former colleague sent this comment/question to me and I thought I would
>> pass it along.
>> I responded that there was a lot of interaction between Lewin, Vygotsky,
>> Luria and ......., but
>> I could not speak for later users of CHAT.
>> Sort of fyi.
>> One thought has emerged from my current reading to come up with theories
>> inform methodology: I am curious as to why CHAT researchers had never
>> seemed to look into Kurt Lewin's Action Research and Field Theory as tools
>> to think about. For example, what I see Engeström is calling "Expansive
>> learning" looks to my eye to be quite close to Lewin's
>> freeze-unfreeze-freeze model, and to this standard change management
>> in which we are looking (I think) at a fairly typical model of an object
>> the world of software products, in which external forces (which I would
>> call activity systems) are interacting with an object that is evolving
>> through the interaction of such systems:
>> Software installation, tuning, management and upgrade is very much like
>> this. The object mutates in response to its environment, interacting with
>> multiple interactive communities, as customers use the tool and discover
>> new things they wish it would do, or developers think of interesting
>> that can be done with the tool, in response to an environment of new tools
>> and other developer's objects. The shared object changes in response to
>> those goals (or is dumped--not that this would ever happen with
>> *my*company's objects) for an object that looks like it can better
>> reward the
>> effort to shape it into goals that may not be fully grasped, but that
>> become real in the interaction of users, developers, communities, and
>> I suppose Lewin's focus on the individual in society, rather than on
>> in society, is a theoretical barrier. But they both work for me
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