Historicizing affordance theory: A rendezvous between ecological psychology and cultural-historical activity theory

Sofie Pedersen, Jytte Susanne Bang

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The aim of this article is to discuss how mutually enriching points from both affordance theory and cultural-historical activity theory can promote theoretical ideas which may prove useful as analytical tools for the study of human life and human development. There are two issues that need to be overcome in order to explore the potentials of James Gibson’s affordance theory: it does not sufficiently theorize (a) development and (b) society. We claim that Gibson’s affordance theory still needs to be brought beyond “the axiom of immediacy.” Ambivalences in Gibson’s affordance theory will be discussed, and we will argue for certain revisions. The strong ideas of direct perceiving and of perception–action mutuality remain intact while synthesized with ideas of societal human life. We propose the concept of the affording of societal standards to be a meaningful term in order to grasp the specific societal character of affordance theory.
TidsskriftTheory & Psychology
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)731-750
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2016
Udgivet eksterntJa

Citer dette