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Re: RE: [xmca] moral life of babies
Hi Rod, and Martin.
Martin, can you give us more details on when your new book will be published.?
Mike Cole mentioned he has a lot of sympathy about the notions of "reciprocity" and Martin's 2 articles definitely put reciprocity at the center of development.
Martin asked us "What do you think? and my answer is that this topic is foundational for understanding "communication" and our notions of what that term "means"
I want to respond to a specific point in Martin's masters thesis  On page 28 he describes an interaction between Jenny and Sarah [mother] and their interaction of smiling and sticking out their tongues. Martin says several aspects of this interaction stand out as striking.
1)Sarah TAKES Jenny's actions AS IF they are manifesting "intentions" though this clearly goes BEYOND Jenny's actual capabilities to form intentions.[interpretive]
2) Sarah talks AS THOUGH Jenny is issuing an invitation to "play" [interpretive] though this is a CONCEPT Jenny cannot yet possess.
3)Sarah TAKES subsequent tonguings AS THOUGH they are part of A DIALOGUE [interpretive]
4) Two of Sarah's comments to Jenny make SENSE IF ONE IMAGINES an intervening reply by Jenny [To me the term "imagine" is central to Martin's notion of communication.
At the heart of what Martin is trying to explicate is the centrality of IMAGINATION to the process of interpretation within a RECIPROCAL INTER actional pattern of activity [could it also be called "motivation"] It depends on how you differentiate motivation from activity.
The other central notion being pointed out by Martin is that this communicational pattern is ALWAYS OPEN-ENDED and that "motivation/intention" is ALWAYS being reciprocally NEGOTIATED in patterns of ENGAGEMENT [response and withdrawal]
Rod I believe Reddy's dialogical 2nd person account of reciprocal communication is narrating an account of communication that has many parallels with Martin's reciprocal account of the foundations of communication.
Martin, that's what I think at the moment
----- Original Message -----
From: Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:09 am
Subject: RE: [xmca] moral life of babies
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Thanks for this Martin,
> The image that came to mind reading your last sentence was of
> surfing - the child is caught by the wave of an existing culture
> and swept along with the cultural practices going on around her
> but it doesn't take long before she is kneeling on her board and
> then standing up and then carving the wave (I have no personal
> experience of surfing on actual water!). What may be missing
> from this analogy, however, is the active concern by certain,
> local, familiar parts of the wave to keep her afloat.
> All the best,
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:xmca-
> firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Martin Packer
> Sent: 08 May 2010 21:16
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] moral life of babies
> Mike has added several names to the list of infancy researchers
> whose work we need to consider, and I haven't even finished yet
> with Jean Mandler! Then there are my messages to David about T&L
> that still need to be completed. So I need to play for time, and
> to do so I'm attaching yet another 'young' publication, the
> longitudinal case-study of infant-mother interaction that was
> accepted as a masters thesis by UCBerkeley, on the condition
> that I considered it to be officially a failure.
> It's written with youthful arrogance (especially the title!),
> and with too phenomenological a turn of phrase at times. But
> perhaps people on the list can get their teeth into it and tear
> off the bits that have little value, and we'll see what's left.
> Without having read a word of Vygotsky at the time I proposed
> that "It is possible, perhaps even likely, that it is by
> observing the effects on others of our utterances that we
> discover our own intentions, make them conscious, and hence are
> able to act more deliberately in the future." And I suggested that:
> "There is a level of shared meanings that is constantly referred
> to, and constantly developed; and so the infant's schemes will
> inevitably take a form that depends not only on her bodily
> structure (the basis of knowledge for Piaget) but which also
> reflects the norms, values, expectations, and roles - in short,
> the practices - of the society she is born into. These social
> meanings are at first not represented, but simply lived; the
> infant's bodily dispositions will reflect and express them in an
> unreflective, preconscious fashion. The 'task', so to speak, for
> the adults who interact with the infant is to make available to
> her the shared meanings of their society by making them relevant
> to her own interests and needs, at the same time redirecting
> those interests into more mature forms. The child is involved in
> communication from birth. Her task is not to learn how to begin
> to communicate, but to learn how to gain mastery of what she is
> doing already."
> What do you think?
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