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Re: [xmca] RE: Engagement with Activity Theory.

On 28 December 2011 12:19, christine schweighart <
schweighartgate@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Mike and Huw,
>  In a recent seminar someone was discussing 'moral' value and value form
> related to large projects, (can they be separated as Tonnies did ) - but to
> point to recent work Bent Flyvbjerg and 'phronesis' in large projects
> became useful -though when I look at his discussion of didactics this ethos
> doesn't follow through - here is a link (
> http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/research/people/Pages/BentFlyvbjerg.aspx).
> I am oriented in HE teaching intervention and 'appreciative setting'  in
> relation to 'recognition' - where  re-mediation  uncovering  value-form
> comes into my awareness. When you present 'I appreciate the effort you
> made' - here I have no sense of gesture that 'unspoken' in context (
> appreciative setting in actuality of the moment ) - it could still be
> value-form. The second subject of the sentence isn't human - so...
> appreciation recognition and human-ness are in our concept:).
> Huw you mention 'embed' there's a tautology / paradox though 'appreciative
> insight' is what is already there so 'embed' as agency - goes beyond
> boundary of 'appreciation'.  I think that is where I figure 'appreciative
> setting' = that which is affording coherence and 'recognitions' but which
> isn't 'aware of itself' - when a retrospective suggestion of which
> 'value(moral)' was the coherence of dialogue appears ( as phenomenon - then
> another one is already 'unrecognised' enabling  again dialogue).
> You highlight:
>  to appreciate beyond what is
> conventionally allowed for in their social circles.
>  yet 'allowing for' is  then with a 'passage point' and entails
> subjectification.
> Mike - I'm not familiar with 'reciprocal relations of exchange' - but I
> think that in my seeking I'm - as an educator trying to 'influence' in ways
> that do not find responses of emulation
> so 'exchange' is not in my concept.
>  I could go across to 'recognition' here to grasp again insight for
> 'appreciation' But I'll insert an extract of a document I wrote directed to
> a fellow enquirer :
> writing about ' authentic knowledge from personal experience' in a text ,
> I commented :
> This might need
> expansion – I hope that the way is open for this to be read as having a
> number
> of possibilities – that education is not only working to a ‘defecit’
> agenda,
> but that it could also be read in many ways as a generative excess &
> marking historical action in becoming a subject ( kojeve etc ) I can’t go
> into
> that here it’s huge. There are so many readings- I’m currently reading
> Judith
> Butler.
>  Yet this is constellated around German philosophy - my life experience
> 'brought' me to another aesthetic not the Muse and distance  to
> 'appreciate' that seems to permeate that appreciative setting - but one
> where another appreciative setting and vitality gives coherence.
> I could orient to 'passion' in Garcia Lorca's 'theory' , but that would be
> very obscure in this conversation. So I will try to convey from Spanish
> culture  -to 'read'  exchange in social relations.  Consider the
> 'picaresque'
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picaresque_novel
> as a spanish contribution drawing ( apparently in this article  -from a
> tradition in Iran - - well on wikipedia)
> "Arabic literature, which was read widely in Spain in the time of
> Al-Andalus and also possessed a literary tradition with similar themes, is
> another possible formative influence on the picaresque style. Al-Hamadhani
> (d.1008) of Hamadhan (Iran) is credited with inventing the literary genre
> of maqamat
>  in which a wandering vagabond makes his living on the gifts his
> listeners give him following his extemporaneous displays of rhetoric,
> erudition, or verse, often done with a trickster's touch.[7] Ibn
> al-Astarkuwi or al-Ashtarkuni (d.1134) also wrote in the genre maqamat,
> comparable to later European picaresque novels.[8]
> At the heart of this is study of  'living off the gifts of others by means
> of one's wits' - which is to be distinguished from a 'generative excess and
> giving of gift - which can only be when such 'guile' is unquestionably 'not
> at play'.
> This is sought to be 'revealed in 'reading' of  'gesture' .
>  I see  a need for appreciative settings in education to be 'free'
> 'negative subjectivity around ' obligatory passage points' I draw this from
>  a recent - ish slide and paste it here - please contact me for references
> etc
> lObligatory
> passage points : (Tsouvalis
> 1994), ( Meaning blocks.Valsiner 2010.)
> –Difficulty here is that
> these can be positive or negative in subjectification
> –Not only that students
> arrive at their own pace, but that this is a process of choice
> – ‘Appreciation’ ‘Webs of
> significance’ Checkland 2005) &. ‘subjectification’ (Fernando Gonzalez Rey
> 1999)
> to understand relation between
> boundary  and motive of activity
> that  these created passage points work
> towards .
> lSubjectification a precursor for agency (premise)
> ( competence in overcoming OPP, opens horizon of agency ( or incompetence
> closes ).
> I can't see that this can be achieved in 'experiment' - To cut across to
> my comment on dialogics to Larry on another thread - his interest in
> 'generative excess' comes - perhaps between- appreciative setting and
> recognition, for me right now. Though my comment about 'seeing ahead' is
> misleading. My intervention in the classroom has no 'pre' in this kind of
> 'uncovering' (in actuality ) is in the present  in dialogue. So it would be
> impossible to suggest that 'research' of it might be of a form x or any
> other , and also impossible to ask 'consent' before a conversation takes
> place - what is 'uncovered' is not known to any party beforehand.
> I relate this to 'autopoiesis' as I  oriented to  with David in the
> 'leontiev' thread- a gesture of expression produced by 'creative
> appreciation' ( loving relation in Maturana's terms)  from the social
> relations to enable excess - no exchange. In Spanish culture this is
> 'named' 'Duende'. but is very 'dynamic - i.e active in appreciative
> setting.I know this is beyond the bounds of usual message content - and
> might strangle any dialogue. Though excuse me as for a while  I will not be
> able to 'carry' participation , I am in anticipation of a family visit -
> not 'brought ' to the UK in many years - we usually reunite in Spain:)
> Thanks for this opportunity to think this aloud across the different
> depths of threads.
> Also thank you so much for the technology advice too Huw - the 'lag' on
> hotmail is intolerable and writing this message similar to carving
> hieroglyphics.:)

You're welcome.   I didn't follow all of your narrative above, Christine.
So if you're anticipating a more detailed response, let me know!  Happy


>  Christine.
> From: lchcmike@gmail.com
> Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 12:22:15 -0800
> Subject: Re: Engagement with Activity Theory.
> To: schweighartgate@hotmail.com
> CC: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Christine --
> I have also been thinking about "appreciation." My musings led me to
> connect the idea of "I appreciate the effort you made" with the idea of
> appreciation in a phrase such as "The price of my house appreciated."
> In both cases, it appears that there is some sort of increase in "value."
> If someone else appreciates what I do, my "self" (lets make that my
> "dialogic self") increases by some measure of the greater valuing of me by
> the person doing the appreciating. Ditto if I appreciate what someone else
> does (such as writing a thought provoking note on xmca).
> Around the intervention methodology folks I hang out with, the idea of
> "reciprocal relations of exchange" which Olga Vasquez has favored gets a
> lot of, well, appreciation.
> Always and over again the issue off what constitutes reciprocity is right
> in the middle of the enagement.
> mike
> On Sun, Dec 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM, christine schweighart <
> schweighartgate@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Mike,
> I read  your joint article in the special issue of T&P 2011 and
> appreciated the notion of mutual appropriation - I was contrasting with,
> and have not found myself able to 'project' into 'formative teaching
> experment'  - though this would be another thread. Also in that issue Yryo
> used a definition of 'intervention' from Gerald Midgley, who I am working
> with now, his contribution has been to introduce a concept of 'boundary
> critique' -influenced by Ullrich -into  'Critical Systems Thinking'.
> I became interested in 'activity theory' after responding to a call for
> papers for ISCAR 2005 Seville - and you responded! Also in that conference
> you gave a very moving talk WITH from and back to your audience - I enjoyed
> that - but of course the 'content' has now gone in memory.  It was only
> when Seth Chaiklin moved to the UK and 'rounded up'  stragglers that I
> engaged 'theoretically', very slowly and with very different values about
> research, but I got to the question I asked Andy, and still have -  in
> there somewhere-my historical traces to understand my communions and
> differences etc..  Going back into 'systems'  - with  the opacity of
> 're-entry',  initial dialogues show appreciation ' we haven't got a theory
> of activity' :).  Though their background has a stong history of community
> developmental work, and environmental developmental intervention .
> In using this list serve, my email doesn't seem to 'reply' to messages in
> the way others mange to- I don't get a smooth 'title' and copy message, so
> I've not just quite got the hang of this. It meant that I couldn't direct
> comments - so early on I 'lost' responding to David Kellog on the
> discussion f the wine and bottles - and also on the talk of recognition. I
> have attempted to present a distinction of subjectification and
> 'appreciation' in recent talks - but this is 'unappreciated' with those
> deeply immersed in the notion of subjectification --  So I read greg's
> comments and will re-read the whole thread- it went very quickly!
> Also I can't get an 'automatic' email to open on Bruce's link ( same
> problem with my hotmail set up) - so if there are any guidelines as to what
> is acceptable in terms of links to other websites etc  please point me
> there( and how to 'reply' in threads  with more focus/proximity). Live
> links are stripped out , sometimes they are 'accidentally' cut and pasted
> in haste, - but don't know the trouble this might provoke your server etc.
> Many thanks, Christine.
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