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ERIC Number: EJ828024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1074-9039
The Mediating Role of Discoursing in Activity
Wells, Gordon
Mind, Culture, and Activity, v14 n3 p160-177 Jul 2007
Discoursing, the use of language in interaction with others, plays a part in almost every human activity. Indeed, some have argued that it is discoursing that has made possible the cumulative development of culture over the course of our species' history. Whether or not that is correct, there can be no question that the ability, with the aid of linguistic discourse, to coordinate action, and to reflect together on the relationship between actions and their intended and achieved results, has been an essential contributor. The question is, How should we theorize the relationship between discoursing and the forms of joint activity in which it occurs? At the present time, not only do we not have an answer to this question but the question has hardly been addressed within activity theory. My aim in this article is to offer some suggestions that may help to advance this project. To this end, I put forward and attempt to justify the argument that discourse always functions to mediate the action in which it serves as an operational means and that the distinctions that need to be made between different kinds of discourse can best be handled with the conceptual tools of genre theory. (Contains 8 footnotes and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A