ABS229 - Methodological challenges associated with "life histories" in cultural-historical approach - Board 29
Frequently, studies in cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) are methodologically supported in practice centered analysis and, therefore, the questions that may be done in research methodological design are primarily about what people are doing, what they are pursuing and what sort of practice they are changing. This type of questioning provides a rich picture of what activity people are involved in, the local research methodology of observing and intervening in practice along with qualitative data analysis seems the natural choice for CHAT researcher. Nonetheless, a great deal of connection between and within activities are historically developed and might not be accessed by scrutinizing the current practice alone. Particularly, when the researcher is interested in long term transformations and enduring processes the methods available apparently lost their thickness since it might not grasp the concrete subjectivity production for theses contexts. In this paper, we discuss the possibilities of CHAT researchers to incorporate the life history – biographical approach – as one of the core methods in developmental research. From our point of view, the first step in adopting life history as method is to overcome theoretically the widely propagated dichotomy between individual and social in subjectivity production. In order to illustrate, we present six in depth interviews with young teachers who decided to teach Science in public schools in vulnerable urban scenario in São Paulo/Brazil. Although our discussion is essentially centered on methodological challenges, the examples presented in this paper might help to add some concreteness in the research development.