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RE: [xmca] Interpreting Leontiev: functionalism and Anglo Finnish Insufficiences

Those interested in crisis situations and how people respond to them - creatively and otherwise - might like to take a look at the very significant work by the American sociologist, Robin Wagner-Pacifici. I have read one of her books, 'Theorising the Standoff: Contingency in Action' (Cambridge 2000). Its very title makes one lick one's lips. It is a fascinating and deeply original study. R W-P's cv, listing her publications, can be found if you Google her name.

If anyone knows her work, I'd be interested to know what you think of it.

Colin Barker

From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Andy Blunden [ablunden@mira.net]
Sent: 21 December 2011 00:09
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Interpreting Leontiev: functionalism and Anglo Finnish      Insufficiences

The way you have explained Vasilyuk's ideas makes them very attractive
for me. I would certainly be interested in following up these ideas. All
that stuff around exploring crisis situations sounds very fruitful to me.
On the other hand, even before I came to CHAT I felt that "values" was a
very derivative concept, and in general it seems to be treated as a
second order concept in CHAT. Values are real enough, and I can see that
they are explanatory up to a point. But I wouldn't take them as basic.

But thanks for that Vasilyuk stuff!!


christine schweighart wrote:
> Andy,
>  On appropriating motive Perhaps bringing in Fyodor Vasilyuk's ' The
> Psychology of Experiencing . An Analysis of how critical situations
> are dealt with' 1984/88 would be relevant. The theme goes back to the
> earlier thread of 'parallel' subjectivity of Gonzalez Rey from social
> relations ,  Vasilyuk sees  a relation between motive  and 'values' :
> "  In the first place, by the fact that values in themselves have no
> stimulating energy and force and therefore  are incapable of directly
> compelling motives and behaviour to obey them.
>  A value does, on the other hand, have the power to produce emotions,
> for instance if a choice already made is clearly in conflict with it.
> This means that the value must be taken ( in the terms of the
> psychological theory of activity) to be in the same category as
> motive, for emotions relate to separate activities, reflecting the
> course of their realisation of various motives..(.ref.)
> .....
> It is possible to suppose that in the course of individual development
> values undergo a definite evolution, changing not only in content but
> in motivational status as well, in the place they occupy and the role
> they play in the structure of life activity'  p139
>  Vasilyuk's interest in a critical-situation threshold and dealing
> with them is to be seen as an 'individual's investigation of the
> situation (which is )  not cognitive in intent, nor is it intellectual
> in method, it is trying to find answers not to universal questions but
> to questions of vital interest to the individual. It is not rational
> cognition, but probing of the internal and external bounds of
> possibility, a testing out of the world and of the self.' He refers to
> a coming up against a reality 'such as never was' always at a border
> line , which require creativity and can become growing points.
>  In the book Vasilyuk explores 'frustration' suggests a 'typology of
> frustration behaviours'. then explores Conflict and Crisis, defence
> mechanisms. Related to  ‘experiencing ‘ hedonist’ ‘realistic’ ‘value’
> and  ‘creative’ l  experiencing. I was interested that he also tried
> to situate 'energy' into his schema.
> In Chapter 3 he considers  these dynamics in ‘cultural-historical
> determination of experiencing – he goes on to explore archetypes  and
> schemas or collective concepts  for ‘depth of perspective of meaning’ –
> These 'schematisms of consciousness' / archetypes and he mentions a
> few examples of this kind - 'are able to serve as a form through which
> an individual makes sense of, or re-interprets, the events and
> circumstances of life, and are thus a culturally prescribed form for
> individual experiencing'  one which he sharply differentiates from
> intellectual acquisition of knowledge, entering into 'not by mind
> alone but involves the whole of life', or an 'attuning' when 'one has
> attained a state of consciousness 'appropriate to the internal order
> of the schematism concerned'...'attuned ??.
>  I hadn't read this mentioned much before I found my way to this book,
> seems very relevant to this discussion,  though too much for me to
> take on at once.   The focus that makes it interesting is that
> Vasilyuk is trying ( at that time  ) to look at ‘a life as a whole’,
> biography and critical situations. And struggles of realizing integrity.
> Christine.

*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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