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

That's Talcot Parsons  1950's, for me.  - 'Systems' (and there's a huge mish-mash around  so i don't use the label, usually it's meaningless) 'transformed' from that - and in that moment the concept of 'transformation' is to be  understood.

> Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2011 23:19:16 +1100
> From: ablunden@mira.net
> To: schweighartgate@hotmail.com
> CC: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Interpreting Leontiev: functionalism and Anglo Finnish Insufficiences
> Christine,
> The "functionalism" theme, the accusation that Leontiev was a 
> functionalist, was in Leontyev's idea of an "objective motive", that is, 
> your labour has an "objective motive", i.e., a function, (as I read it 
> therefore) a part of the social mechanism by which the 5-year plan is 
> fulfilled under the direction of the administrators of the nation, the 
> group who decides what society needs and how it wil be met. The 
> "Marxist" variety of functionalism as a social theory is exhibited every 
> time a Marxist tells you what some social phenomenon is *for*. The mass 
> media are for defending capitalism, sports are for distracting the 
> masses from politics, parliament is for giving the illusion of democracy 
> and so on. In the US, functionalism was contained in the vision of a 
> society as a self-regulating mechanism, in which each occupation, 
> institution, etc., played a role like the organs in an animal, etc. 
> That's how I see functionalism, anyway.
> Andy
> christine schweighart wrote:
> > Dear Andy,
> >
> > That was very provocative! I empathise with the 'ethos' in your 
> > biography biography – mine shares something somewhat but  'accidental' 
> > intellectually. I spent many years amongst those that spent their 
> > youth overcoming the Franco regime.  Spent years 'mutually 
> > influencing' in a very poor village marginalised for being 'united 
> > left - IE'  - this affects funds and projects, one aspect I could 
> > believe could be identified as  reflexivity  in looking at this time 
> > living there - that is developing a way of relating that embodies a 
> > 'concept' which enables a transformative qualitative difference in 
> > form of living ( in this case 'measured' by incorporation of 
> > ecological values and poetry/artistic creation (and consumption) by 
> > and within the village – happened over 10 or 15 years ...  for sure 
> > 'positive law' legislative changes take a long time. From the 'fight' 
> > you epitomise to the everyday living difference sought.  But am I 
> > right to depict the story that way round -  was it the intellectuals 
> > who became activists and gave up all- or was it that without the 
> > invitation of 'people of the countryside’ ( and in the country those 
> > that showed me how to be neighbours  most proximal to my house were in 
> > fact 'illiterate' -  yet  they helped bring up my first son - who 
> > still remembers the gestures and values.) would ‘reflexivity’ be realized.
> >
> >  Provocative because I've no idea what you mean by 'systems theory' 
> > and I mention this in an earlier post :))) - I can only say I identify 
> > in the acquisition of  principles of intervention/ practice - I find 
> > those of  ‘CHAT – also a family of diversity- activity theory - but 
> > the 'pattern' of acquisition is 'mutual influencing' ish  as from my 
> > reading oft Mike's last joint article was  different ( other times 
> > too).  I guess the central concept is 'transformation'. so I don't 
> > 'get'  objectification of 'social theory', I’m ‘out’ on what that 
> > might be quite. it's dynamic open and that's the big problem - no? 
> > losing 'dynamic thought' in objectification. Though who is assuming 
> > that all are influenced by ‘social theory’ . I still visit my 
> > neighbours who don’t read or write, I still am included by neighbours 
> > from my hometown ( 1953 council estate) . I also still have relations 
> > with  some  from my academic ‘tribe’ – how I got there  was by 
> > interview  for an MSc– they had to go check that my qualifications did 
> > actually ‘count’ to be able to join in J)).
> >
> > I really liked David's recent post
> >
> > """that is, for understanding how the social becomes psychological, 
> > for recognition, for identity, for the forging of something that can 
> > reasonably called a free willed self, the mediating entity we want is 
> > really the community.
> >
> >  
> >
> > On the face of it, there doesn't appear to be any historical period 
> > where there was not a community of some kind. Except maybe our own." ( 
> > this expresses the otion of autopoiesis David - only Maturana's very 
> > convoluted explication was we don't have 'access' to our own embodied 
> > actuality - we are inherently 'observers' in a relational historically 
> > forming domain which we structurally couple to- i.e influence /but not 
> > causally either direction. A primary  to this concept is life - not 
> > evolution.
> > Except  I turn to the question of 'will' which isn't artistic enough 
> > for me a 'free loved self' ? or creative self?  Phychology of art 
> > seemed to me (only skimming) to be about aesthetic consumption - not 
> > the sensual production  of artistic gesture. Mediating - but not 
> > 'entity' because  community is always flowing along, in an out, people 
> > come and go and there is multiplicity of community.
> >   Also David's earlier comment about the boundary of the word -  where 
> > I would pull in 'being in relation to gesture' ( always unspoken?).
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >  Anyway I'm as 'peripheral'/ ambiguous / with and without recognition in written voice in the 'systems tribe'  nearly as in this - so I like your expression of principle of  'not making matters worse'  a lot. 
> >  BTW I didn't mean Ulrich Beck, risk is  in his work and in ecology being objectified - the relation is to uncertainty what 'to do when there is no notion of 'risk' to hang on to. I made a reference to Ullrich and I'm not at all in the camp of cybernetics i don't think - but the special issue which hosts the paper for discussion has a review of a book on that by Tony (and I'll read that - he was discussing Freire before his illness)
> >  it was Werner Ullrich - who I've not read either. I have a feeling this might  be a question of 'responsibility to those less advantaged' and I nearly always find that difficult because the categorisation interpellates 'no change'.
> > BTW - I've lost the functionalism theme , leontiev - but have maybe 
> > exposed 'anglo ' insufficiencies via biography:). I didn't used to 
> > react to provocation half so 'profusely'..must have had some 
> > 'coaching' somewhere.....
> >  Cheers Andy.
> >
> -- 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *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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