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What’s wrong with CHAT?


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Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) has been used in writing studies for the last twenty years. In the mid-1990s, it offered a solution to a methodological problem that the field faced. But 20 years later, the field faces new methodological challenges. Can CHAT keep up?

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What’s wrong with CHAT?

  1. 1. What’s wrong with CHAT? Clay Spinuzzi,
  2. 2. Spinuzzi, C. (1996). Pseudotransactionality, activity theory, and professional writing instruction. Technical Communication Quarterly, 5(3), 295–308.
  3. 3. Kinneavy, J. L. (1971). A theory of discourse: The aims of discourse. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Pretice-Hall, Inc.
  4. 4. Hairston, M. (1985). Breaking our bonds and reaffirming our connections. College Composition and Communication, 36(3), 272–282.
  5. 5. Rhetoric and writing studies didn’t have... A paradigm A set of methodologies A set of methods A set of research techniques
  6. 6. Faigley, L. (1986). Competing Theories of Process: A Critique and a Proposal. College English, 48(6), 527-542.
  7. 7. Charney, D. (1998). From logocentrism to ethnocentrism: Historicizing critiques of writing research. Technical Communication Quarterly, 7(1), 9–32.
  8. 8. social cognitive
  9. 9. sociocognitive
  10. 10. 1GAT 2GAT 3GAT mediation, internalization, proximal development activity system, structure of activity activity networks, contradictions, rules
  11. 11. Problem 1: Application sociocognitive
  12. 12. Problem 2: Theory objectobjectobjectobject
  13. 13. Problem 3: Phenomenon object object objectobject
  14. 14. A history of rhetorical pivots
  15. 15. 1GAT 2GAT 3GAT 4GAT
  16. 16. Pivot it again