Pushing perfection: Exploring activity systems through international elite gymnastics scoring

Date
2014-01-01
Authors
Stranahan, Elizabeth
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English
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Abstract

In 2006 the international elite gymnastics community switched their scoring system from the iconic 10.0 to a limitless system. Because of the overlapping interests of NBC as media broadcasting the event, the change in scoring resulted in NBC creating a key to assist audiences in understanding the scoring change for the 2012 London Olympic broadcast. The theoretical concepts of multiple activity systems sharing an object and collaborative ecologies work well together to explain the motives and context surrounding the 2012 NBC scoring key. Thinking of international elite gymnastics and NBC as participating in an activity system sharing the score mediated through the international elite gymnastics code of points offers a framework from which to understand the interrelatedness of international elite gymnastics and NBC. Additionally, considering international elite gymnastics as a collaborative ecology clarifies why the code of points acted as a tool for the international elite gymnastics collaborative ecology and incurred so many changes over time. The paper explores the interdependency of activity systems that share an object and also how changes in the tools that mediate a shared object can result in altering how activity systems function as a whole.

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activity theory, gymnastics, rhetoric, scoring
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