Re: general, particular Holzkamp, Engeström

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Wed Oct 13 2004 - 12:24:11 PDT

Steve, to my earlier note:

I mentioned that Marx wrote that production for one's own use satisfies
one's own needs but does not produce commodities (p.55) and then, in
the same paragraph, he writes "To become commodity, the product has to
be transferred through an exchange to the other, to whom it has

On p.57, he writes that useful work/labor mediates the metabolism
between man and nature, that is, the human life.

Of course, the work/labor of his (and perhaps Jean Lave's) taylor does
not mediate directly the exchange between THIS taylor and nature;
rather, it is the generalized labor, the contribution to society, which
contributes to the metabolic exchange with nature--the taylor sells the
coat and purchases a bushel of grain...

So, to come to the school example, what do students produce and for
whom? What happens when they do not produce? What are their productions
exchanged for? You know as well as I do that students exchange their
productions for grades, "What'd I get?" (Look at Ya-Meer in the article
we discussed)

It is rare that students don't produce for grades, such as in our own
work where they contributed to the data available to environmentalists
and town people alike concerning the health of a creek; and they
contributed by teaching towns people about aspects of the creek, about
tools, etc. (detailed accounts of these things in Rethinking Scientific

We did an early sketch of this commodity with Michelle K. McGinn
((1998). >unDELETE science education: /lives/work/voices. Journal of
Research in Science Teaching, 35, 399-421.) and the commerce with
grades, points, etc. using, among others, the different forms of
capital that are traded and exchanged (Bourdieu).


On 13-Oct-04, at 1:09 AM, Steve Gabosch wrote:

> Michael, where does Marx say this?
> "Marx clearly says that all activity implies the exchange situation
> ..."
> Thanks,
> ~ Steve

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