Re: general, particular Holzkamp, Engeström

From: Jay Lemke (
Date: Wed Oct 13 2004 - 14:23:20 PDT

So are grades then a form of "company scrip", a non-convertible currency
with value only within the institutional orbit? ... and while it may be
true that there is nothing else obvious to students as given in exchange
for their labor, it also seems true that a lot students are not very
motivated to work for grades ... and why should they, if this is a mostly
bogus currency?

trouble-making as usual,


At 12:24 PM 10/13/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>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 use-value".
>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
>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 Literacy).
>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 ..."
>>~ Steve

Jay Lemke
Educational Studies
University of Michigan
610 East University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259

Ph: 734-763-9276
Fax: 734-936-1606

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