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ERIC Number: EJ1167601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1911
Two, Three, Many Strands of Activity Theory!
Levant, Alex
Educational Review, v70 n1 p100-108 2018
This piece critically follows David Bakhurst's 2009 article "Reflections on Activity Theory" in light of recent developments in the field. It sketches three directions for further research. First, it examines his identification of "two strands" of activity theory (AT)--the philosophical, which he associates with E.V. Ilyenkov and other Soviet theorists, and the organizational, which he associates with Yrjö Engeström and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). Drawing on recent scholarship, it interrogates this understanding of AT, and examines how political commitment cuts across these strands. Second, it engages Bakhurst's critical assessment of Engeström's triangle model of activity, and supplements it with a critique of CHAT's "radical localism"--an understanding of activity as the unit of analysis that contains the basic characteristics of the whole. It follows Avis, Colley, Dafermos, Jones, Mojab and Gorman as well as Warmington, who note the occlusion of broader social relations and contradictions from the triangular representation of local activities, and it posits Ilyenkov's dialectical conception of activity, which understands the unit of analysis as an entry point into the whole, as a way to grasp those broader social relations. Third, it takes up Bakhurst's critique of anthropocentrism in the Marxist tradition in light of current literature on the Anthropocene. In contrast to dominant philosophical trends, which locate climate change in anthropocentric perspectives inherited from Enlightenment thought, it suggests how AT can recast the issue in relation to the organisation of human activity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A