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The object of activity: Making sense of the sense-maker
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Informatics.
2005 (English)In: Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, ISSN 1074-9039, Vol. 12, no 1, 4-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of “the object of activity” plays a key role in current 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 the context of use remain unsolved. This paper is an attempt to address some of these problems. The paper focuses on three 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 Alexey Leontiev in Russian, to 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 Alexey Leontiev and the one developed by Yrjö Engeström. Third and finally, the paper finds the original Leontiev’s 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 12, no 1, 4-18 p.
Keyword [en]
activity theory, object of activity
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7277OAI: diva2:146948
Available from: 2008-01-07 Created: 2008-01-07 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Kaptelinin, Victor
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