"This is a fine collection of papers on activity theory produced by internationally renowned scholars. The book provides a comprehensive overview of one of the most important focal points of activity theory, namely the relationship between theory and practice. It offers valuable insights from many perspectives and discusses the many issues that derive from grappling with this relationship. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to students, colleagues, and practitioners."
- Bente Elkjaer, University of Aarhus, Denmark
"A superb collection of varied, important research focused on the possibilities for transforming human cognition, institutions, schools, workplaces and communities. This provocative work is grounded within the frameworks for the analysis of how ongoing practice within consequential activity transforms human social life developed by one of our most important contemporary social theorists: Yrjö Engeström. It offers a powerful alternative to views of cognition that focus on the individual, to our contemporary ways of theorizing learning and education, and a wonderful place to enter an important dialog on how humans as social creatures transform the social, cognitive and material worlds they inhabit through practice, a dialog that began with the work of Vygotsky, Luria and Leont'ev."
- Charles Goodwin, University of California at Los Angeles
"A celebratory yet probing consideration of the work of one the best known cultural-historical activity theorists in the world, Yrjö Engeström, this edited volume sets a direction for debates in the field. At the same time, it extends Engeström's analytic uses of activity theory as reflexive means for changing work practices. The editors skillfully highlight decisive points of theoretical progress and of practical advance."
- Dorothy Holland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Humanity develops primarily through cultural evolution, the ultra-fast process by which knowledge and tools are accumulated and handed over from generation to generation. One of the most important mechanisms of this process is the constitution and development of activity systems that organize people's actions in relation to shared objects. This book is a homage to Yrjö Engeström, the leading theoretician of learning as a vehicle of, and a vehicle for, cultural evolution. It is written by his best and closest intellectual partners. In the world according to Engeström, people transform themselves by transforming the activity systems which their acts are a part of. You may or may not subscribe to such a deeply materialistic view, but without finding out what happens at one of its hottest frontiers, the field of contemporary research on learning will remain closed to you. This book is actually your key to it."
- Ference Marton, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
There is a growing interest in activity theory across behavioral and social sciences. Activity theory has a very rich and solid heritage in the works of Vygotsky, Luria, and Leont'ev. The development of activity theory depends on the understanding of this heritage. However, this literature is very demanding and often proves inaccessible to new generations of scholars who want to pursue empirical studies. How can students and young researchers be helped to engage with this heritage as they carry out their inquiries in various social practices? This book provides researchers with an accessible text that also supports the use of the classic tradition of activity theory.
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