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Issue Brief: Activity Theory - Previous Revision

David R. Russell

Iowa State University

russellisu@gmail.com   

 

Activity theory was developed out of L. S. Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory of learning by one of his two main collaborators, A. N. Leont’ev, beginning in the late 1930s. It is a way of analyzing human behavior in culture, emphasizing the mediation of cultural tools including writing. It has evolved into a major direction in Russian social psychology and now has adherents world-wide, influencing studies in education, language socialization, computer in­terface design, and expert work, among others. (It is not to be confused with the classroom Activity Approach of the Deweyan progressives in the US.) 

Leading Journals

Mind, culture, activity (MCA) http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Journal/

Ethos http://www.iscar.org/benefits.html#ethos

Culture & Psychology http://cap.sagepub.com

Journal of Intercultural Communication Research http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rjic

Relevant Organizations

International Society for Cultural and Activity Research (ISCAR) http://www.iscar.org

Cultural-Historical Special Interest group of AERA http://www.aera.net/SIGs/SigDirectory.aspx?menu_id=26&id=4714

Relevant Web Sites        

Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research http://www.edu.helsinki.fi/activity/

Sociocultural Theory http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/soc_cult.html

Relevant Email Discussion Lists

 XMCA Discussion Forum http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/

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