Clay Spinuzzi notes that his 2011 JBTC article “Losing by Expanding: Corralling the Runaway Object” is available as a free download through June of this year. This is a nice piece exploring Engeström’s third generation activity theory. From the abstract:
Third-generation activity theory (3GAT) has become a popular theoretical and methodological framework for writing studies, particularly in technical communication. 3GAT involves identifying an object, a material or problem that is cyclically transformed by collective activity. The object is the linchpin of analysis in the empirical case. Yet the notion of object has expanded methodologically and theoretically over time, making it difficult to reliably bound an empirical case. In response, this article outlines the expansion of the object, diagnoses this expansion, and proposes an alternate approach that constrains the object for case-study research in writing studies.
Also in this issue is an article on content management from McCarthy, Grabill, Hart-Davidson, and McLeod. Get the articles here: JBTC 25(4), October, 2011.