NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ833998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1074-9039
The Object of Activity: Making Sense of the Sense-Maker
Kaptelinin, Victor
Mind, Culture, and Activity, v12 n1 p4-18 Feb 2005
The concept of "the object of activity" plays a key role in research based on activity theory. However, the usefulness of this concept is somewhat undermined by the fact that a number of problems related to its meaning and its contexts of use remain unsolved. This article is an attempt to address some of these problems. The article focuses on 3 potential sources of uncertainties and inconsistencies, which may be obstacles to a more fruitful application of the concept of the object of activity in both research and practice. The first source is difficulties related to translation of ideas, originally formulated by Leontiev (1959/1981) in Russian, into English. The second source is different interpretations of the concept of the object of activity within two contemporary approaches in activity theory, the one developed by Leontiev (1975/1978) and the one developed by Engestrom (1987). Finally, the article finds the original Leontiev (1975/1978) definition of the object of activity as "its true motive" problematic and calls for separating the object of activity from the motive of activity. The implications of that separation are discussed. (Contains 1 table, 4 figures, and 4 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A