Definition of Activity Theory
Example of Activity Theory
- An individual who worked for 30 years as a medical doctor retires but starts to volunteer at a domestic violence shelter in a client support capacity.
Activity Theory Pronunciation
Syllabification: ac·tiv·i·ty the·o·ry
- American English – /ak-tIv-uh-tee thEE-uhr-ree/
- British English – /ak-tIv-i-tee thIUH-ree/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ækˈtɪvəti ˈθɪəri/
- British English – /ækˈtɪvɪti ˈθɪəri/
- Plural: activity theories
- Not to be confused with psychological theories and research of Alexei Leont’ev (1903–1979) and Sergei Rubinstein (1989–1960)
- Activity theory is compared and contrasted to disengagement theory and continuity theory as a functionalist theory of social gerontology.
- Also called:
- active aging
- activity theory of aging
- implicit theory of aging
- normal theory of aging
- lay theory of aging
- Aging and Social Gerontology Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “activity” and “theory” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Havighurst, Robert J., and Bernice L. Neugarten. 1967. Society and Education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
- Lemon, B. W., V. L. Bengtson, and J. A. Peterson. 1972. “An Exploration of the Activity Theory of Aging: Activity Types and Life Satisfaction Among In-movers to a Retirement Community.” Journal of Gerontology 27(4):511–23. doi:10.1093/geronj/27.4.511.
- Neugarten, Bernice L. 1964. Personality in Middle and Late Life: Empirical Studies. New York: Atherton Press.
- Neugarten, Bernice L. 1968. Middle Age and Aging: A Reader in Social Psychology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Quadagno, Jill S. 2017. Aging and the Life Course: An Introduction to Social Gerontology. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- continuity theory
- disengagement theory
- life course
- social gerontology
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Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “activity theory.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved November 29, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/activity-theory/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
activity theory. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/activity-theory/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “activity theory.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed November 29, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/activity-theory/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“activity theory.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/activity-theory/>.