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[xmca] What is "structural change in the psyche"?

Hi Andy,
I was just wondering whether you might be willing to say more what is meant by "a structural change in the psyche" in your post. This seems a rather idealist (vs. materialist) notion. Is that how you mean it?

In trying to reformulate it in less idealistic terms, I came up with: "a structural change in one's understanding of the relationships between signs, and in the relationship of those signs to oneself". But I don't know that this gets us out of idealism and the attendant dualism.

Relatedly, you had once posted a question about the difference between the "dollar in your head" and the "dollar in your pocket". I assume that this is a similar question/problematic.

Maybe if we spoke of "habits and practices that involve the relationships between signs and their relations to us", maybe that gets closer to a non-dualistic way of talking about these things? 

Any suggestions?

>Message: 4
>Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:33:51 +1100
>From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>Subject: Re: [xmca] Leading activities and central lines of
>	development
>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>Message-ID: <4D37BB2F.9000709@mira.net>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>Larry, I am not familiar with Mike and Natalia's paper, and they 
>obviously will speak for themselves. But I think that the central or 
>leading activity, and certainly a central or leading *motive* is not the 
>same thing as "central line of development," which refers to that 
>activity which promotes development towards a structural change in the 
>psyche of the developing person. This may or may not be present in any 
>given situation, for a child playing a game or a grad student participating.
>Larry Purss wrote:
>> Help with a question
>> Recently Andy asked a question about clarification of the concept of
>> "central lines of development.
>> I  have been reading the article by Mike Cole and Natalia Gajdamaschko and
>> there is a section with the heading
>> "Heterogeneity of 'Leading' Activity in the Course of a Single Game Episode"
>> Tmike and Natalia suggest there were several "leading" activities
>> POTENTIALLY present, each associated with differentage periods.  Leading
>> activities such as:
>> - need to be loved and accepted
>> - play
>> - learning
>> - peer interaction
>> - work
>> My question is if these leading activities may not be age specific.  Each of
>> us may be centrally motivated by a particular leading activity which
>> fluctuates from moment to moment in activity.  In the example in the article
>> an undergraduate, Jill Silverstein, was writing field notes of the fifth
>> dimension activity.  Mike and Natalia when interpreting the fieldnotes
>> suggest Jill initially had a central motive of affiliation while play was
>> the leading activity for the children.  There was a confusion about the
>> rules of the game and the adult entered into the game and learning at that
>> moment became a central motive.
>> There were many  transitions in motives during the game  and Mike and
>> Natalia summed up this section by stating,
>> "As this example makes clear, not only are the girls able to be a "head
>> taller" but a "head shorter" in the course of a single stretch of a joint
>> game play mediated by the computer game and each other" [p.275]
>> This statement points to notions of volition [agency] which are fluid and
>> interchangeable when contained within supportive contexts [interweaving]
>> How does this observation fit with the notion of a CENTRAL line of
>> development? Is it possible that there is more heterogeneity in the lines of
>> development than implied in the concept "central"?  Could the concept of
>> central lines of development be describing historical forms of
>> development which develop in particular settings when 5 year olds enter
>> school environments?
>> I may still be confused and misinterpreting Mike and Natalia's position but
>> I am trying to understand if some of the more basic leading activities [such
>> as affiliation] remain central WHEN THREATENED but become implicit and taken
>> for granted when the person is secure and contained.  If there is some merit
>> to this position then issues of security and attachment needs may recede
>> into the background and other leading activities come to the foreground when
>> basic attachment needs are met.  However when there is a perceived threat
>> to  basic security needs then earlier leading activities or motives also
>> return at any age.
>> Larry
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