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Tracing change in a micro activity system: an activity-based genre conceptual framework

Ayers, Gael (2015)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The overall objectives of this study were to assess the usefulness of an activity-genre approach, and conceive a multi-dimensional/multi-perspective framework, which could go some way in capturing the complexities of human object-directed activity. In particular, research concentrated on (i.) how a. the (‘power’) relations between participants, and b. factors concerning ‘culture’ and ‘identity’, can shape the activity system as a whole, and its different parts or elements, and (ii.) how genre contributes to the patterning and contingency of an activity system. In the formulation of the framework, and to identify and describe the different features, new notions and terms were introduced and defined, involving a number of differentiations of concepts. The framework was applied to a micro activity system, that of an astrology group (the case study), based in Lazio, Italy. It revealed how genre was used in \(configuration\) to both negotiate ‘power relations’ between participants and further the Object/motive of the Activity System. ‘Communicative purpose’ of a genre was created through a whole array of modes e.g. ‘size’, colour, position within the room, its relation to other genres, indicating the importance of ‘situated analysis’. The analysis indicated a complex layering of time and space, local and global culture cross-fertilizing.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Koester, Almut
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
HS Societies secret benevolent etc
P Philology. Linguistics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5998
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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