Doing CHAT in the Wild

From-the-Field Challenges of a Non-Dualist Methodology

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Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and other Vygotskian approaches are becoming increasingly popular among social scientists interested in studying human actions, thoughts and emotions in their cultural contexts. Building on non-dualist, dialectical materialist epistemological premises, these approaches, however, can pose important challenges to the scholar and the student aiming at first adopting them in their research. What are the concrete, method-related implications of CHAT perspectives for the way we do research in the field? Showcasing the work of well-established as well as emerging CHAT scholars, this volume presents from-the-field insights of non-dualist CHAT methodology for both newcomers and the initiated.

Contributors are: Sylvie Barma, Michael Cole, Patricia Dionne, Philip Dupuis-Laflamme, Ritva Engeström, Beth Ferholt, Alfredo Jornet, Isabelle Rioux, Frédéric Saussez, Chris Schuck, Anna Stetsenko, Marie-Caroline Vincent and Samantha Voyer.

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Patricia Dionne, Ph.D. (2015), Université de Sherbrooke, is Professor at the Département d’orientation professionnelle (Guidance counseling) at the Université de Sherbrooke. From a CHAT and social justice perspective, her research focuses on emotions, learning, and development during group career counseling interventions. She works mostly with long-term unemployed adults and immigrants.

Alfredo Jornet, Ph.D. (2015), University of Oslo, is Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow at the University of Girona. His research focuses on sociocultural aspects of learning across formal and informal settings, and on pedagogical innovation in the context of environmental and social justice crisis.
The present volume is addressed to students, early career scholars, and more advanced scholars in psychology, education, and the social sciences more generally, who are interested in studying and adopting CHAT’s methodological implications.
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