Dialectical Contradictions

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The third piece of reading for our English composition class is a scholarly article by David R. Russell, and Arturo Yañez called, “’Big Picture People Rarely Become Historians’: Activity Theory and the Contradictions of General Education.” Their paper is an abstract concerning a linguistics theory known as activity theory (AT), as well as genre theory or genre systems theory. Their piece centers on the contradictions students face regarding their time spent in general education courses. The authors frame their observations of the student’s concerns around these theories. This allows them to hold each student to a standard from which to measure the magnitude to which they adhere to these theories in practice. In their paper they refer to 3 students whom they applied their theory to. Their names are Mia, Michael, and Beth. Throughout their piece it is evident that Beth was the main focus of their research. All three students face what Russel and Yañez have deemed dialectical contradictions in their general education courses due to the changing of activity systems in different subjects. But what exactly is activity theory. Russel and Yañez define it as “a way of analyzing human activity over …show more content…
I believe this tendency of self-alienation is very prevalent in higher education as well as high school. This leads me to believe that alienation occurs in general education due to contradictions that appear from the inability to identify specific activity systems present in these courses. Making it more difficult to develop the theoretical lens required to fulfil the intended purpose of the class - To develop new ways of thinking and apply them to classes that pertain to your major, and other aspects of your specialty

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