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RE: [xmca] Refugees and Conception abduction pseudo concepts and Valsiner

Hi Stuart I will try to send it to you again


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Steve Gabosch
Sent: 16 August 2010 13:54
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Refugees and Conception abduction pseudo concepts and

Thanks for the two Valsiner pages, Denise.  And your post reminded me  
that I couldn't find that Paavola article you attached last week - my  
computer wouldn't recognized the file, or something.  Could someone  
put that up again?  Sorry for the bother ...
- Steve

On Aug 16, 2010, at 3:46 AM, Denise Newnham wrote:

> Dear Paula, Jay, Michael, Andy and Larry,
> These lines have become a bit entangled and so here I shall attempt  
> to speak
> of several ideas but still linked in to our primary abduction-pseudo  
> concept
> discussion.
> 1) Hierarchy pseudo concepts. I after a little help from my friend:)  
> (Jaakko
> Virkkunen, thankyou)It is not possible to put pseudo concepts on a  
> highest
> level. IF we go into Valsiner's Comparative study of human cultural
> development and look at Chap 1 (under google studies) we can see where
> perhaps the confusion came in. JV states that 'if we look carefully  
> into
> psychology's theoretical domain, we might see regression of initially
> constructed concepts into a pseudo-concept...' concepts ( I presume  
> he is
> referring to scientific) regress then pseudo-concepts must be lower.  
> He then
> refers to the works of Smedslund pseudo - empiricism and that they  
> refer to
> empirical investigations in psychology that are devoted to the study  
> of
> issues that are necessarily true such as all Catholic popes are not  
> married.
> Here I can only presume that the process of whatever thinking has  
> arrived at
> a stage of a conclusion that attains social consensus. It is taken  
> as fact.
> My argument to this line of reasoning is that pseudo concepts contain
> abductive reasoning and the realm of initial creativity but that  
> abduction
> (Paavola) are multi composited and sourced. Please see Paavola's  
> article
> that was attached.
> Some pseudo-concepts may through generalization never go to higher  
> levels of
> thinking as the verification is of a very spontaneous nature due to  
> the
> persons motivation to justify, environment in the expanded sense of  
> the
> term. However if they are to lead to discovery that will then be a  
> source
> for development they will  need to go through deductive logic and
> experimentation (inductive) and then perhaps another moment of  
> abductive as
> the new problems/contradictions arise. But this second stage will  
> not be the
> same as the primary as it has a stronger scientific scientific base.  
> At all
> times this process is an ongoing dialectic, historical dialogue. I  
> should
> give you an example here but you will have to wait for my article :)
> 2) De differentiation: there is a serious problem here and I cannot
> understand as Jay did not either how the level of where one can no  
> longer
> speak of something can be reduced to over generalization or fossilized
> knowledge. This is as well a complex phenomenon that has been over
> simplified in this chapter. Not to mention all the other problems  
> that Jay
> highlighted
> 3)Abductive thinking is said to be weaker only in its form of logic  
> but not
> in its value as in the process of logic. Peirce had two periods of  
> work on
> abduction and as Paavola states they are not mutually exclusive but  
> part of
> the process or given to diverse situations and circumstances.
> 4) Piaget/Valsiner and Vygtosky. This would take quite a bit of  
> answering
> but the basic problem is that Vygotsky had a more holistic view  
> based on
> phylogentic, cultural historical, ontogenetic and microgenetic  
> development
> and so perhaps hard to get closer to when this is not the case... I  
> do think
> that Valsiner has very good thoughts and leave a lot to be done when  
> working
> on individual-and object as containing a dualism
> All said and done I would like to thank you all for this discussion  
> as it
> sorted out the question for me. I shall now look at Davydov,  
> Leontiev, and
> other articles of Paavola and Hakkarainen.
> Denise
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca- 
> bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Paula M Towsey
> Sent: 13 August 2010 15:47
> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> Subject: RE: [xmca] Refugees and Conception
> Dear Denise
> I've been trying to track down Valsiner's "Levels of semiotic  
> mediation", as
> mentioned to you in his email, to get an idea of how and why he views
> pseudoconcepts as being at "Level 4".  I have so far only managed to  
> come up
> with the excerpts attached here - apologies for the size.  (Being at
> distance from one's place of learning, and at the antipodes too, makes
> accessing texts a long-winded affair: Valsiner's 2007 book isn't  
> available
> on Googlebooks preview and the ILL takes forever...)
> And as I started to read these excerpts, though, your latest post  
> arrived,
> and my immediate reaction was to send the excerpts to you now
> a) because I wasn't sure if you'd read/seen this element of  
> Valsiner's work
> or not and it seems pretty interesting to me, and
> b) because of the questions you ask about the CL and thinking modes  
> and the
> whole question of pseudoconcepts.
> I am excited about the possibility of this bringing together the  
> real life
> experiences of your CL and Valsiner's work and the whole question of  
> the
> differences between pseudoconcepts, everyday concepts, and
> systematised/academic/scientific concepts - in fact, conceptual  
> modes in a
> variety of cultural situations, as Mike draws attention to (and asks  
> about)
> in the video.
> Are you familiar with this aspect of Valsiner's work or not?  Do you  
> think
> it may be relevant?  Please do let me know - and thank you for these  
> amazing
> threads.
> Regards
> Paula
> _________________________________
> Paula M Towsey
> PhD Candidate: Universiteit Leiden
> Faculty of Social Sciences
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca- 
> bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Denise Newnham
> Sent: 13 August 2010 12:31
> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> Subject: RE: [xmca] Refugees and Conception
> Dear Mike,
> Two things to situate and I reply for the wider network as well: The  
> Change
> 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  
> (Mother-
> child facilitator).These were the subjects of the Change laboratory  
> and the
> 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 "how
> 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  
> several
> 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 and
> 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 have
> 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  
> encountered
> 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 in 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 put
> forward at the end of the video is of great interest to me and an  
> important
> 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 central 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 give them Vygotsky blocks to find out how their  
> minds
> work!).
> I understand what you mean, in common sense terms, by saying that  
> they lead
> isolated lives here. But it is not literally true, is it? From the  
> little i
> 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 isolation from the life around them in the  
> Central
> Valley of California, but it is an 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 these 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 my 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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