Activity Theory Assignment | Social Sciences

Added on - Oct 2019

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Activity Theory1Activity TheoryActivity TheoryActivity Theory6th August 2019About Activity TheoryActivity theory is mainly used in in the case of research and theories with relation to electricSocial Sciences. It has its root in the famous Soviet psychological activity theory which has beenpioneered by Sergei Rubinstein, Alexei Leont'ev, and Lev Vygotsky. These famous Scholars haveattempted to understand different human activities. They have introduced us with social andsystematic situated phenomena of human activities. According to them, human activities arebeyond reflexology paradigms. Activity theory is also beyond classical conditioning,behaviorism, and psychoanalysis. Activity theory has gained its popularity as one of theimportant psychological approaches and it can be applied in both the field of appliedpsychology and theoretical aspects. Activity theory has also been popularly applied in thedomains of professional training, education, social psychology, autonomics, and workpsychology. Activity or it is something more than a descriptive method theory. It is also beyondpredictive theory. It entails the entire activity or what system including organizations andteams. It involves the analysis of a single or multiple users and actors. It is responses to thehistory of the person, environment, and role of the artifacts, culture, motivations, and severalcomplexities in real-life activities of human beings. One of the major advantages of activitytheory is that it helps in bridging the gap between social reality and the individual subject. Itemphasizes both social reality and individual activity through the means of mediating activity.The activity theory has the unit of analysis which is the concept of collective, object-oriented,and culturally mediated activities of human beings or the entire activity system. By the termsystem, we can understand the subject, the objectives, mediating artifacts such as tools andscience, community, rules, and division of labor.Activity theory aims at creating contradictions and tensions within the components of thesystem. Bonnie Nardi who is an ethnographer and one of the leading theorists in activity theoryhas mentioned that activity theory focuses mainly on practice that obviates the requirement indistinguishing between pure science and applied science by understanding regular practice inthe real world situations, which is one of the major objectives of any kind of scientific practice.Therefore, it can be said that the main objectivity of activity theory is to develop anunderstanding of the unity of activity and consciousness. Activity theory is also term as Cultural-
Historical Activity Theory because it focuses on virtual form and communication which ismediated through printed text and electronic means. Activity theory can also be considered tobe one of the significant aspects in qualitative research methodologies such as case study,ethnography, etc.Furthermore, an activity can be considered as a broader concept which is highly related tointeractions of human beings with the world. The interaction is defined as a process which has asubject and an object. An activity can be represented as the function of subject and object.These two key aspects fundamentally differentiate a particular activity from other means ofinteractions. An activity on interaction always needs a subject and then the object. Everyhuman being needs to interact with other people and execute certain actions in which thesubjects are found to be mutually determining one another. The activity theory defines anactivity to be a generative force which helps in transforming both the objects and subjects. Inthe activity theory, it has been highlighted that every subject has a need. An activity can bedefined as a unit of life of any material subject which exist in this objective world. Every subjecthas or needs which is indispensable for surviving and to fulfill such need some activities orneeded to be carried out. Interactions are also needed to carry out activities and to achievecertain objectives. The theory has also highlighted the fact that every living organism on thisearth has some needs or motives. The name of the subject can never be kept limited to dohuman beings. There are several other entities such as teams animals and organizations whichalso have certain need-based agency. Therefore it can be said that every entity can be e asubject of activity.Activity theory also provides an effective method of analyzing and understanding aphenomenon. It helps in identifying patterns which in turn helps in making inferences acrossseveral interactions. Activity theory also describes and presents phenomena through rhetoricand built-in language. Specific activity is always goal-directed and it indicates meaningfulinteraction between an object and a subject through the use of several methods and tools.These methods or tools are exteriorized forms of different mental processes which aremanifested in psychological or physical constructs. Activity theory also recognizesexternalization and internalization of cognitive processes which are highly engaged in the use ofthe tools. It also recognizes the development or transformation of results from any interaction.Hence, we can understand the activity theory is an important theory which helps inunderstanding the entire process of activity or interaction and helps in gaining anunderstanding of the findings of the interactions.History of Activity TheoryIn the history of activity theory, several sources have provided subsequent evidence whichreveals that various intertwined and complementary strands of development are associatedwith this theory. Three major strands associated with the line of development of activity theoryinvolve the Moscow Institute of psychology and some of the young Russian researchers such asLuria, Vygotsky, and Leont'ev. The other strand involves the works of scientists like NikolaiBernstein and P. K. Anokhin. These famous Russian scientists focused on the
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