Re: [xmca] can't have it both ways

Date: Mon Dec 04 2006 - 07:12:08 PST


You mention references I am unfamiliar with. I am not naive enough to
assume since one person can achieve success regardless of circumstance then
it makes the case for all in the same circumstance. I certainly do not
want to justify horrendous abuses but I also do not believe what exists in
any area of the US to be horrendous. Warsaw of WW2 or the gaza strip
certainly deserve that classification!

My point was that you want to disregard any studies that place empirical
evidence for the zone of proximal development yet you want to then claim
poverty or oppresive conditions mediate a person's development. Which one
is it Andy, is there a mediation of a person's development or is there not.


                      Andy Blunden
                      <ablunden who-is-at mira.n To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
                      et> cc:
                      Sent by: Subject: Re: [xmca] can't have it both ways
                      xmca-bounces who-is-at web
                      12/01/2006 03:50
                      Please respond
                      to "eXtended
                      Mind, Culture,

Eric, I think you are agreeing with people like Frank Furedi, Charles
Taylor and Robert Hughes, who see people who identify themselves as victims

of some kind of injustice (e.g. feminists or antidiscriminationists) as
actively adopting a victim-identity and thereby actually reinforcing their
own suffering so in fact being the cause of their own suffering. Yes?
You reject the fact that (for example) a poor ghetto resident is oppressed
and believe that the fact that many who leave the ghetto and make good
proves your point. Yes?
Well, I think you're wrong. It is true that making a claim to having been
treated unjustly does not ipso facto make your claim valid. So it is
necessary to have some way of figuring out whether such claims are
justified. I really don't think your criterion, of asking whether there
exist people who escape from the condition of injustice, stands up to a
cursory glance. It would justify the most horrendous abuses. Perhaps you
argue that even though (for example) a ghetto-dweller is oppressed, they
would be better advised to find an individual solution to their injustice
and move house, rather than try to do something about poverty and
discrimination. You are welcome to your view, but I think it misses the
point. A read of Jane Jacobs' "Death and Life of Great American Cities" is
always worthwhile; Jacobs show that people who are poor and powerless for
other reasons end up having to live in a ghetto (where they suffer from
further disadvantage resulting from place), and stay there only so long as
they are poor and powerless.

In relation to your second paragraph about mediation, you seem to be
claiming that poverty and suffering is unmediated, i.e., it is not someone
else's fault but your own. Yes? So you are putting a radical individualist
position: the black man given the chair for a crime he did not commit is
responsible for his own fate; if he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps

and got an education and a good job, he could have afforded a good lawyer.
There are many problems with this position. But I doubt that I can persuade

you out of radical individualism in psychology at this late stage.


At 09:38 AM 1/12/2006 -0600, you wrote:
>What if a person misperceives being oppressed? Such as the vastly growing
>"victim" class of urban residents in america. There is clearly a
>misperception on their part that they are being oppressed. Choices in
>their life have placed them in a position of feeling and acting oppressed
>yet numerous people who grow up in the same environment leave the "hood"
>behind and make a great life for themselves.
>Are you merely stating a rhetorical question regarding oppression being
>mediated and do not believe this to be the case? I truely am confused by
>your argument. You have taken a circuitous route of dismissing dualism
>you use dualism to make your point.

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