In this paper, first of all, I tried to demonstrate how collaborative acivities are socially organized. In paticular, I focus on the issues on how people organize the unit of activity or the boundary of context and on how such organization of contexts comes into being socially visible depending on various resources such as configuration of participants' bodies and tools, devices or makers of conversation, and juxtaposed representations in a collaborative activiy. Regarding this issue, I do not only discuss the theoretical view point of situated approach but also conduct the intearction analysis in the coordination center of distribution and exhange of frozen seafoods. Second, I demonstrate how tools and technologies are embedded in a collaborative activity. According to my interaction analysis of collaborative activity in the coordination center of distribution and exchange of frozen seafood, tools and technologies are embedded in a natural history of events. For example, the representation in a monitor does not show anything without being embedded in a natural history of events exactly like a score itself does not display anything for a player without embedded in actual emsemble. Further, the use of one tool is embedded in a series of tools use. Finally, since the use of tools and technologies is always embedded in a course of actions, the use of tools comes into being resources for reciprocally displaying what each participant is doing by using tools.
In this paper, I try to extend Vygotsky's idea on artifact praxiologically. The essence of his view on artifacts lies in the concept of concrete totality of mediated activity, which says cognitive activity is beyond the individual and spreading over in the configulation among bodily actions, artifacts, and collaborative interactants. However, the notion of dialogical interaction and its analytic details are to be added to Vygotsky's view. To illustrate my extension, I conducted micro-interactional analysis on the discourse of Japanese classroom, in which children and teachers use two different social languages, i.e. standard formal Japanese and regional dialect. Changing the formation of the two social languages, children and teacher collaboratively construct the two different participation structures; one in which the floor for talk is managed formally and the other in which participants talk freely and convivially. Children and teachers uses various bodily actions including restarts, pauses, phrasal breaks, and switching of social languages, for presenting cues for changing partcipation structure and for displaying hearership.
This article introduces two reasons for ecological realism. The first point is that information exists within the environment specifying the affordances of that environment for that observers. Given that ecological information is ambient or external, the process of picking up information becomes one of detection, not construction. An affordance is a potential resourse or special combinations of resources. It can, but it need not, become incorparated into a process. There is a difference between the environment of all animals and that of one animal. The theory of affordances implies that to perceive things is to perceive what to do or not to do with them. Successful action must be controlled prospectively by affordances. Information often appears well before the paticular informations are actually apprehended by the perceiver. This ‘unfilled meanings’ (Reed, 1996) control perceiver's exploratory action. We call this process as prospective control of action and this information predictive. The existence of this process also reveals the reasons for realism.
Many sociologists have attempted to explain what changes in our social life have been caused by new artifacts (e.g., the print, the telephone, radio, television, the computer and so on) and also what socio-cultural conditions made possible the appearance in the world of those artifacts which have so drastically changed our social life. On the other hand, such sociological explanations have taken for granted, and presupposed, the fact that those artifacts are there as such in the natural way. This paper treats this fact rather as a social phenomenon to be investigated in its own right. In the analysis of audio-visually recorded fragments of a word processor instruction session, an attempt is made to demonstrate how the natural way of being of artifacts is accomplished jointly by the instructor and the instructee in, through and as the spatio-temporal arrangement of their bodily movements, vocal or unvocal, and to show that the naturalness of artifacts being there as such is an interactional achievement in the normative order. Some consequences for conceptualizing the so-called man-machine interaction are suggested.
Color categories sit at the intersection of two central topics in the study of human cognition: 1) the analysis of vision, and 2) the study of semantic categories, or more generally processes of classification. Using as data videotape of archaeologists filling out a coding sheet that requires them to systematically describe the color of the dirt they have excavated, this paper describes the practices required to competently classify color within the work life of their profession. The task of color classification is embedded within a situated activity system, which includes not only several different ways of identifying the same color (each designed for alternative uses), but also cognitive artifacts, such as a Munsell color chart, and specific embodied practices. The chart creates an historically constituted architecture for perception, a heterotopia that juxtaposes in a single visual field two very different kinds of space. As multiple parties fill out the coding sheet together the full resources of the organization of talk-in-interaction are brought to bear on the contingent tasks they are charged with accomplishing. The present investigation of a situated activity system encompassing not only semantic categories, but also physical tools and embodied practices, contrasts with most previous research on color categories, which has focused almost exclusively on mental phenomena, and not on how people perform color classification to pursue a relevant course of action in the consequential settings that make up their lifeworld.
It is well known that “recursion” is a very difficult concept in computer programming. Pragmatic knowledge seems to be helpful to learn these kinds of unfamiliar concepts. That is referred to as the knowledge in which the functional relations among objects are represented like daily actions with purposes or intentions. In the present research we propose “subcontract instruction” as a pragmatic instruction to make a recursive LISP function. The instruction encourages learners to think that a LISP function as a worker divides a task and entrusts its portion to a subcontractor that has the same structure as the original LISP function. The effectiveness of the instruction was examined in an experiment, compared with “trace instruction” and “template instruction.” The results showed that the subjects given “subcontract instruction” could solve different types of problems flexibly and yielded high performance. It is argued that daily actions can be base domains on which people learn new concepts through analogical reasoning.