Cultural-Historical Activity Theory Meets Developmental Systems Perspective: Transformative Activist Stance and Natureculture

  • Anna StetsenkoEmail author
Part of the Perspectives in Cultural-Historical Research book series (PCHR, volume 6)


Recent developments in the interdisciplinary field of research on human development, amounting to no less than a conceptual revolution, strongly suggest that the so-called interactionist consensus on nature–culture debates falls far short of accounting for the true complexity of developmental dynamics. There is a strong affinity on this point between the recently influential developmental systems perspective (DSP) and Vygotsky’s works including in its activity theory lineage. In these frameworks, individual and environmental characteristics are understood to continuously emerge in the life course, while codefining and cogenerating each other in the very process of developmental transactions. Both frameworks shift beyond the concept of development as a mechanically additive, hybrid product in which external and internal (genetic and environmental) influences are mechanically summated and combined as extraneous and separate units to be added to each other. Furthermore, while sharing the emphasis on joint determination by multiple causes, contextual sensitivity and contingency, Vygotsky’s framework expanded through Transformative Activist Stance is more radical and resolute in offering conceptual tools to understand development as an activity-dependent, emergent co-construction of developmental outcomes by human beings coacting with others in agentively coauthoring their communal world while relying on available cultural resources. This discussion creates a context in which the relevance of works by Mariane Hedegaard can be highlighted.


Agency Developmental Activist Biological 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate Center of The City University of New YorkNew York CityUSA

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