Re: [xmca] Wertsch, context, deja vu: RE: LSV-& Dialogical Self -- context (withunrelated bonus non-irony irony)

From: bb (
Date: Mon Aug 21 2006 - 11:05:50 PDT

Funny that this comes so close on the heels of Kevin's post -- I was writing as his post came in: Choices of words are ever so important -- when it is written that 'human action occurs IN a specific cultural, historical, and institutional context' rather than 'action occurs WITH a specific cultural, historical...' then it is easy to slip into conflating 'that which surrounds' with 'that which relates to'.

If we are to think of context as 'that which relates to' then IMHO we are in for a really big challenge trying to unpack all the dimensions of context that come with the alterity inherent in text -- for example, take xmca as the context and these messages as the unfolding text, each contributing to to an unfolding context, then we have context reaching back years into Mike's and every other xmca-er's history of making meaning, of which some can be witnessed by looking at archives, and context also reaches out across all xmca-ers, anisotropically across posters and lurkers, and context is embedded non-ephemerally on our computer screens and on our hard drives. My context, the sets of relations that make sense to me, shaped by my developmental path, is different than Mike's context, shaped by his path, even when we are reading the same xmca messages. Context is almost everywhere and is different almost everywhere. At this point I almost wish I smoked so I could go out and h!
 ave one

But then JW seems to assert that alterity (that which is not shared) and intersubjectivity (that which is shared) go best hand-in-hand as one analytic system for thinking about communication -- and this makes total sense. To posit a real simple way of phrasing: we must have something shared, such as language, in order to communicate. But then, if we all shared all meanings, there would be no reason to communicate -- we would each already know what the others would have to say.

Ths phrasing seems to trivialize what JW has to say, so what am I missing?

 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Dorie Evensen <>
> When reading about the intersubjectivity/alterity dialogic, I was reminded
> of the O'Connor distinction between the benign aspect of cognitive
> apprenticeship and the conflict inherent in cultural production. Might
> these also allude to the contextual distinctions offered by Wertsch?
> Dorie Evensen
> At 12:26 PM 8/21/2006, you wrote:
> > -------------- Original message ----------------------
> >From: "Mike Cole" <>
> >
> > > Most generally, I worry that we conflate interweaving, relational
> > notions of
> > > contexts for container notions
> >
> >And yet, in the Nicolopoulou & Cole paper I'm reading, the library and the
> >boys and girls club were not only relational contexts, but with the 5D
> >embedded, physically, they were also, to a degree, containers. Perhaps if
> >'relational' were to include the spatial relations often implicit in the
> >achitectural dimensions of our culture(s), then conflation would turn to
> >integration. For example, a cathedral makes possible worship, as Barker
> >might claim, with its pews facing the alter, but also with its surrounding
> >icons, ennobled arches, lights, windows, and the walls that allow the
> >bishop to be heard above all 'outside' distractions. (Just a divergent
> >thought).
> >
> >I'm still figuring out alterity <-> intersubjectivity. I don't know why I
> >find Wertsch so difficult to grok.
> >_______________________________________________
> >xmca mailing list
> >
> >
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> xmca mailing list

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