Fourth generation activity theory is about alternatives to capitalism
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:30 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
Convention Center - 2000 B
The third paper – “Fourth generation activity theory is about alternatives to capitalism” – from Yrjö Engeström and Annalisa Sannino start from a very different perspective. Claiming that the contradictions of capitalism threaten the very possibility of life on our planet, Engeström and Sannino argue firstly, the new societal challenge is to re-embed the economy (Adler, 2015) into democratically controlled civil society. Secondly, to identify where such developments are occurring and how they might be ‘expanded’ the new unit of analysis is needed that focuses on materially variations of an existing activity as they are emerging or functioning by virtue of initiatives and efforts generated by social movements, cooperatives, community-based enterprises and other forms of organizing alternatives to capitalism. Engeström and Sannino propose the way to do so is to include in existing third generation unit of analysis a key component envisioned in a diagram in Learning by Expanding (Engeström, 2015, p. 71), namely the “culturally more advanced central activity.” This development is depicted in the diagram below (Figure 1.).