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Re: [xmca] Manfred Holodynsk's article on the emotions

I am glad you have returned to emotions and their development. I found the
focus of Manfred's article illuminating. However,
I also hope to continue lurking with Mike listening in for further
understanding of actions, activity, and projects. Mike's use of the term
*project* to suggest our personalities  express somewhat coherent life
projects over a life span is another opening I hope we follow.
On this theme, Anna Stetsenko's questioning if within Activity Theory the
concept of human subjectivity (as psychic reflection) may have been
de-emphasized for RHETORICAL reasons so material reality and socio cultural
transactions could be persuasively emphasized *as a response* to the
dogmatism of classical psychology, is an interesting perspective.
I also wonder if the article that Rauno sent on technology and
the multiple theories explaining  our relations to tools and the theme
of trust/mistrust in our relations to tools may be reflected in our
understanding of life-projects.

Andy, this topic of developing life-projects (as projections
anticipating future transformations) seems to be a theme which bridges
emotions, human subjectivity, projects, actions, activity, meaning (in
common), personal sense, and transformation within effective history.
Would you recommend a specific article by Anna to explore her
understanding why some adolescents fail to develop a life-project? (form of
life??). Anna's concept of a three fold dialectic of transformation
includes human subjectivity NOT as a merely derivative process but human
subjectivity as a  co-evolving co-constituting process inclusive of
material reality and inter subjective transactions I find compelling.


On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> One of the unfortunate side-effects of the development of the discussion
> of Manfred's excellent article about the emotions into a discussion around
> the foundations of Activity Theory is that we have not yet had a discussion
> of the emotions at all. That is a real shame, because it is such an
> important topic in its own right, and Manfred's article will show itself in
> time, I believe, to be a landmark in this subject.
> Although Manfred's article is an overview and a treatment of foundational
> issues, the MCA issue concentrates on the development of the emotions in
> infancy and the forthcoming second special issue on the emotions will deal
> with the development of the emotions in middle childhood, I believe.
> This means that the controversy I have introduced about the conception of
> "an activity" is almost irrelevant to the articles in these two issues,
> which after all, in dealing with the development of emotions prior to
> adolescence, deal with the most important and theoretically most
> significant aspects of the problem of the emotions.  An infant cannot do
> actions. Because the infant does not have an image of the object towards
> which their behaviour is oriented, their behaviour cannot be said to
> constitute actions. They begin with "operations," which by means of their
> success or failure in resolving the problematic stimuli and the feedback
> from carers, lead to their development of actions as such, and the
> possibility of fully developed and differentiated emotions, rather than
> just the innate precursor emotions.
> The next phase of development, during which Vygotsky claims that the child
> does not develop true concepts, the child is correspondingly unable to
> orient to *activities*. Teachers and carers in fact make up "activities"
> for them, more or less artificial activities, such as games, sports and
> school projects, exams and so on. Through the development of the
> relationship between the actions and the successul fulfillment of the
> motives of these "activities" provided to the child, they begin not only to
> prepare for true conceptual thought when they enter societal and
> professional life in the wider society, but also the perception of the
> activties which underlie and instantiate those concepts.
> And it is only at this stage in ontogenesis when fully developed, mature
> emotions become possible.
> In her work, Anna Stetsenko deals (amongst other things) with youth whose
> troubled upbringing has not made this transition possible and they in fact
> fail to develop a life-project. (I know Anna does not agree with me on
> this, but I see this condition as the same as what Fedor Vasilyuk calls
> "infantilism."). The task of the teacher or social worker here is then to
> help the youth adopt an "activist stance" towards their social position.
> Perhaps Anna could weigh in to the discussion on this. I think her work
> sheds light on the development of the emotions in that third phase of
> ontogenesis, where a nuanced concept of "an activity" is essential.
> Andy
> Carol Macdonald wrote:
>> No Martin, not that sentence.  You are garden pathing.
>> I am working on a very urgent piece of work and have a migraine so I can't
>> engage,  Andy can engage but he is +8hours GMT and sleeping.  I don't know
>> where you are.
>> Sorry I am not up for debate:  but try changing the subject line.
>> Carol
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