Activity Theory in the Study of Science, Technology and Innovations
Author: Miettinen, Reijo
Publisher: Lehmanns Media
Beschreibung: This book is a collection of papers in which cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) is used to study science, technology and innovations. In the 16 chapters of the book an activity theoretical approach is developed through dialogue with the relevant theoretical approaches of science and technology studies, such as actor network theory, symbolic interactionism and Knorr-Cetinas's theory of objectual cultural practice. The book has three parts. The first one comprises empirical studies on creativity and change in research work and innovations. The cases studied include research groups in analytical chemistry, aerosol physics, biotechnology as well as innovations in medical technology by research-based firms. In making sense of the distributed creation, CHAT is put in dialogue with the systemic view of psychology of creativity, the systemic approach in history of technology as well as sociological theories of creativity. The second part compares systematically the similarities and differences between Deweyan pragmatism and CHAT, and shows how they can be used in a complementary way in empirical research. The third part evaluates actor network theory, constructivist conceptions of learning as well as the concept of routine largely used in organizational studies from the position of CHAT. In addition the concept 'object of activity' central in activity theory is discussed and elaborated in two chapters. The autor: Reijo Miettinen is Professor of Adult Education in the University of Helsinki and he was Vice director of the Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research in 1995-2007.