The reaction against cognitivism is now widespread across several disciplines, yet it is hardly unified. Ecological psychology, for instance, emphasizes the essential material conditions which support human and animal activity. Discourse analysis, ethnomethodology and social constructivism also place emphasis upon the contexts of action, but stress their socially constituted nature. Tensions between these approaches arise from the dichotomy of nature and culture, and the opposition of realism and relativism.
Are the ecological and 'social' approaches irreconcilable? Can the ecological be socialized, and the social ecologized? The aim of workshop is to explore the scope of these different contextualist approaches, and to consider the (im)possibility of resolution. The workshop is the sequel to "The Primacy of Action", a workshop held at Manchester in December 1993. The meeting this September aims to focus discussion upon the question of the social. The term "inter-action" is meant to embrace not simply interpersonal behaviour (in the standard sense of social psychology), but, more fundamentally, the socio-historical nature of human action.
The workshop was held at the Langstone Campus, an attractive location very close to Langstone Harbour and the Southsea beaches.