In a presentation for a workshop on affordances recently, it struck me that it is really not helpful to call everything an 'affordance'. there are some plain old uses, so in the interests of plain language, and common sense, it might be useful to sketch out the relationship between affordances and uses.

Here is the first diagram (the paper is being revised for publication later this year, and will include considerably more detail).
external image msword.png Affordances and New Uses.doc

And there are some ideas on the social nature of this process in this blog post ...

On the other hand, affordances are not created in a vacuum, so we need to extrapolate out to a wider social and political framework.

Here is the second diagram that strarts to deal with those issues ...