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Embodied Practices of Engineering Work.

Suchman, L. (2000) Embodied Practices of Engineering Work. Mind, Culture and Activity, 7 (1&2). pp. 4-18. ISSN 1532-7884

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Abstract

This article explores relationships between activity theoretic and ethnomethodological studies of work and its objects, with specific reference to the case of design practices in civil engineering. My starting point is the shared interest of activity theory and ethnomethodology in the place of artifacts in everyday working practice. I review briefly some basic premises of first ethnomethodological, then activity theoretic studies of artifacts-in-use. I then offer a preliminary account of computer-aided and paper-based design work in civil engineering, informed by both perspectives. My account emphasizes the multiplicity of media and associated objects involved in the work of engineering on the one hand, and their integration in practice into a coherent field of action on the other. The article concludes by returning to the question of relationships between ethnomethodology and activity theory, focusing on differences in their respective stances toward theory itself.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Mind, Culture and Activity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 19179
Deposited By: Mrs Yaling Zhang
Deposited On: 28 Oct 2008 15:23
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:26
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/19179

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