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RE: [xmca] Refugees and Conception

Dear Mike as far as I know the object does not initiate the Cl the subject
does or community. 

Perhaps the confusion in my email is that after the CL's I worked with the
mothers but this was another path and not the CL so there were two

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: 14 August 2010 01:02
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Refugees and Conception

Ah-- I understand better now both what happened in your CL experiment and
the relation to modes of reasoning among the immigrant mothers, Denise.

With respect to your CL experiment. I think, on the basis of the added info,
that Yrjo would be very sceptical that it IS a CL experiment. I am. The goal
is not one articulated by the mom's, it is in the assumptions of the hidden
assumptions of the interveners on the ground. Good intentions, but not a
great way to start an intervention project from a CL/CHAT perspective. (I
may be wrongly interpreting what you describe).

With respect reasoning. See the two papers below which I got to by googling
scribner syllogisms:

S., 1975. Recall of classical syllogisms: a cross-cultural interpretation of
errors on logical problems. In: Falmagne, R.J. Editor, , 1975. *Reasoning:
Representation and Process* Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, pp.
S., 1977. Modes of thinking and ways of speaking: culture and logic
reconsidered. In: Johnson, P.N. and Watson, P.C. Editors, 1977.
*Thinking*Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 483-500.

Both build on Luria's work in very thoughtful ways. There are other relevant
refs available there as well. Are these helpful?

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 3:30 AM, Denise Newnham <dsnewnham@bluewin.ch>wrote:

> Dear Mike,
> Two things to situate and I reply for the wider network as well: The
> laboratory methodology (Engestrom, 1987) was called for by a group of
> specialized teachers and a voluntary NGO group called Suisses Immigres (N+
> 10). They had designed a project called Accompagnateur Mere-Enfant
> child facilitator).These were the subjects of the Change laboratory and
> activity was the project. There were (at the time of the CL) 10 voluntary
> facilitators who were mostly retired teachers or retired persons. These
> people worked in a dyad with a mother and a child. The triad worked on
> to do homework with a child". The facilitator was there to help the mother
> to take over the role of guiding her child in homework tasks. After
> months problems began to surface within the meetings between the two
> groups.
> The designers of the project or project holders decided to run a CL under
> my
> guidance on this group of people so there were two going on at the same
> time.The one on the project itself and the other on the facilitators. The
> hidden agenda of this project was to "get the mothers out of their homes"
> as
> a form of integration. Mothers were the targets as they are, in the host
> population as well, the people that are largely at home in order to help
> with the task of children's homework. Children come home for an hour and a
> half at midday in this region until the age of 15. It is presumed that the
> refugee mothers do not get out of their homes.
> The difficulty that I had is similar to what you mention. The situation of
> the refugee mothers. No prior investigation was done into what they really
> live and how they think. There were many value laden judgments going on
> were translated into paternalistic attitudes towards the mothers and
> families at large by the facilitators.
> The CL is over and micro shifts were achieved. However the perceptions of
> the foreign mothers was difficult to overcome. And now this is where I
> a gap in the explanation of possible reasons as to why. Obviously at the
> time I would not have been able to run these tests and actually the idea
> did
> not enter my mind then. What I did do was begin with a group of mothers
> (who
> volunteered) to work through what integration meant to them and in their
> everyday problems what could be found as solutions in order to break the
> vicious circle in which they lived. The socio-political environment for
> these people is much the same as you described from the book The spirit
> catches you...No they are not entirely isolated this is impossible but
> their
> minds are still very much in the past.
> Three of the mothers would reason in the same way as the person
> by Luria. However they are not lacking in reasoning as the groups within
> the
> project would say. They were simple reasoning in another manner. There way
> of thinking reflected their socio-cultural environment of origin. That is
> why I would like to have had an article where you expose this possibility.
> Many thanks to you all
> Denise
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Denise Newnham [mailto:dsnewnham@bluewin.ch]
> Sent: 13 August 2010 10:13
> To: 'Denise Newnham'
> Subject: FW: [xmca] Refugees and Conception
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of mike cole
> Sent: 13 August 2010 00:43
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
> Subject: [xmca] Refugees and Conception
> I am responding here to Denise's note about her work with refugee women. I
> have started a new
> thread because her message came trailing a mile of previous messages (we
> need to find some way
> to not include every previous message with a new one; its a special burden
> when we get very long threads and the archive has all the prior messages
> a thread anyway).
> Denise wrote (in part):
> I (one of my hats) work with refugee mothers and the concept
> of "foreign mothers" for the local population. I ran a CL [Change
> Laboratory]
> with a group that is working on integrating refugee mothers so that their
> children can perform
> better at school. The subjects of this CL had relatively little or no
> knowledge of what happens in foreign mothers lives or world on a daily
> basis. This I attempted to introduce through mirror data and models etc.
> What remains as a question is to me is if these persons minds where
> constructed within their environment and they are relatively isolated
> within
> their new environment what kind of mind is there? The question that you
> forward at the end of the video is of great interest to me and an
> argument for involuntary displaced adults.
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Your note raises dozens of questions for me, Denise.
> First of all, I would love to read a description of your Change Lab
> experiments. The first
> question your note brings up is "who initiated the intervention?" A
> principle of
> the Development Work Research Change Lab methodology, as I understand it,
> is
> that
> focal participants are the ones to decide what is a problem in their lives
> (at work in the work that
> I have read). Are the moms the one's who are concerned about their kids'
> performance in school?
> Or is this some govt agency's concern?
> If it is the mom's concern, what is revealed about the history and current
> state of their problems as they
> see them in the mirror?
> What sort of intermediate solutions do they come up with?
> Is it difficult for them to use the theoretical model?
> I think that just starting with data generated by the conversations that
> are
> meant to be evoked by the
> mirror part of the methodology would reveal a lot about how these women
> think about the world. Anyway, I would start there (and for sure would
> them Vygotsky blocks to find out how their minds work!).
> I understand what you mean, in common sense terms, by saying that they
> isolated lives here. But it is not literally true, is it? From the little
> know about domestic refugee situations, the world around them impinges on
> them from every side. For example, in the book
> *The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American
> Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures *by Anne Fadiman, the Hmong
> people who are her subject matter could easily be said to live in
> from the life around them in the Central Valley of California, but it is
> odd sort of isolation as they struggle to reconcile the two worlds they
> have
> experienced. And its odd for those around them who seek to be helpful. And
> many around them are actively seeking to isolate them even as they seek to
> isolate themselves from "those alien creatures."At present I am working in
> an African American community which is, so to speak, isolated in a housing
> project in southeast san diego. After a few years of involvement with
> folks, the main thing i have learned is that there is so much I do not
> understand that I am constantly suspending judgment and seeking deeper
> understanding by engaging with them in activities that they think are good
> for their kids, all the time trying to understand the discrepancies from
> expectations/values, the choices they make, their selective appropriation
> of
> the advice that rains down on them, and so on.
> I am really interested in the problem you raise, but I almost certainly
> have
> little to contribute with so little knowledge of the particulars.
> Tell us more!
> mike
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