Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human-computer Interaction

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Bonnie A. Nardi
MIT Press, 1996 - Computers - 400 pages
3 Reviews

Intended for designers and researchers, Context and Consciousness brings together 13 contributions that apply activity theory to problems of human-computer interaction.Understanding how people actually use computers in their everyday lives is essential to good design and evaluation. This insight necessitates a move out of the laboratory and into the field. The research described in Context and Consciousness presents activity theory as a means of structuring and guiding field studies of human-computer interaction, from practical design to theoretical development. Activity theory is a psychological theory with a naturalistic emphasis, with roots going back to the 1920s in the Soviet Union. It provides a hierarchical framework for describing activity and a set of perspectives on practice. Activity theory has been fruitfully applied in many areas of human need, including problems of mentally and physically handicapped children, educational testing, curriculum design, and ergonomics. There is growing interest in applying activity theory to problems of human- computer interaction, and an international community of researchers is contributing to the effort.Contributors: Rachel Bellamy. Susanne Bodker. Ellen Christiansen. Yrjo Engestrom. Virginia Escalante. Dorothy Holland. Victor Kaptelinin. Kari Kuutti. Bonnie A. Nardi. Arne Raeithel. James Reeves. Boris Velichkovksy. Vladimir P. Zinchenko."

  

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Contents

Activity Theory and HumanComputer Interaction
7
Functional Organs in Social
45
A Comparison of Activity Theory Situated Action
69
Implications for HumanComputer Interaction
103
Introduction to Part II
119
How to Make Sense
147
Computers as Tools in Human Activity
175
New Ways to Foster
199
Some Reflections on the Application of Activity Theory
235
Introduction to Part III249
249
The Zone of Proximal Development
283
Mundane Tool or Object of Affection? The Rise and Fall of
325
Epilogue
375
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About the author (1996)

Bonnie A. Nardi is Associate Professor in the School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of "A Small Matter of Programming" (1993), and coauthor of "Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart" (1999), both published by the MIT Press.

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