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Re: [xmca] Re: Luria - New Vodka Old Bottle PDF

I am returning to Greg's original message to provide a little background
that may be relevant to the discussion. With reference to my use of Nadel
and the idea that I was Professor of Experimental Anthropology and
Ethnographic Psychology, see


I was able to create that title for myself because I was part of an
extraordinary interdisciplinary group
at UC Irvine in the late 1960's before I went to Rockefeller University,
where I was allowed to retain
the same title in a "group" of "behavioral scientists".

The second chapter of The Cultural Context of Learning and Thinking (gay,
glick, and sharp coauthors)
was entitled something like "An unorthodox ethnography" ( I do not have a
copy to hand, but that was
the idea. It was unorthodox (read amateurish) in many ways, one of which
was to try to follow through
on the following idea, which we formulated on the basis of common sense,
but which Leontiev crowned
as follows:

In studying the development of the child psyche, we must therefore start by
analyzing the child's activity, as this activity is built up in the
concrete conditions of its life..(1981, p. 395).

My Soviet colleagues thought I was nuts, by the way. A desecration of the
important ideas of LS
Vygotsky about the Zone of Proximal Development. I am certain they are
correct, but I like some of the ideas anyway.


On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM, Greg Thompson

> To clarify my previous question, I was referring to the article that Mike
> sent around which mentioned that his post at Rockefeller University was as
> a Professor of Experimental Anthropology and Ethnographic Psychology. I
> thought these both sounded like fascinating names for academic units and
> was wondering about what ever happened to them since I don't recall having
> come across either of these juxtapositions of terms.
> I should clarify that I ask the question as someone trained in Cultural
> Psychology/Psychological Anthropology. And the word on the street is that
> the trend in Anthropology over the past 15 years or so seems to have been
> towards not re-hiring psych anthro people for positions in Anthro
> departments that have been held by psych anthro people. In other words,
> psych anthro seems to be losing momentum. (but perhaps this is more
> pendulum swinging than it is a slowing of forward motion?).
> Along these same lines, anthropologists seems to often have hostility
> toward psychologists. I have watched a number of attacks on psychology by
> anthropologists. A favorite was a rather eloquent talk given by an anthro
> grad student about how the field of psychology assumes an "hypostatized
> subject". I happen to agree with her argument, but don't agree with her
> takeaway - to banish psychology from the social sciences. I see this kind
> of critique as one side of a two-sided stupidity, where each side
> criticizes the other side without seeing that the other side has something
> that their side lacks. (and American politics is dominated by the same type
> of thinking).
> I'm a little less familiar with the other side - that of Psychology, but
> from what I've seen, the idea of an Ethnographic Psychology would really be
> appreciated only by a small number of fringe Psychological researchers.
> Just thinking of it would make most psychological researchers run and hide
> at the thought of poor internal validity and reliability.
> It seems that these academic fields develop a center of gravity that makes
> it very difficult for anything not in close orbit to be considered to be
> real and worthwhile. And so sure, disciplines have their value as a means
> of specialization of methods and such, but what I am objecting to is a
> different kind of discipline - the kind that excludes combinations that
> appear to core researchers in the field to be unrecognizable.
> Mike has two early pieces that speak directly to this problem and, imho,
> make these points quite nicely (much better than above). The first is a
> chapter titled "Ethnographic Psychology of Cognition - So Far" in George
> Spindler's book The Making of Psychological Anthropology. Here is a long
> url to the google book (which is worth looking at solely for the picture of
> Mike in it circa 1975!):
> http://books.google.com/books?id=8NAh8MqAO_8C&pg=PA612&lpg=PA612&dq=rockefeller+university+ethnographic+psychology&source=bl&ots=IUbReJGeiL&sig=fEqik0Wptm0VMu9w0DR6UYm19NU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R8PsUYm2C8mzyAHloIGgBQ&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=rockefeller%20university%20ethnographic%20psychology&f=false
> And the second is titled "Toward an Experimental Anthropology of
> Education":
> http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3195588?uid=3739928&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102483831431
> Sorry for the long urls (haven't figured out tiny url yet). (and
> maybe someone else can make the pdf's available? I didn't want to infringe
> on copyrights).
> So let me re-ask my question a bit more directly:
> Mike, what happened to the departments (committees? groups?) that were
> called Experimental Anthropology and Ethnographic Psychology?
> And maybe they had a less certain existence to begin with; so, in what ways
> did they exist in the first place? Were these departments or
> sub-departments or committees or working groups? And were they funded?
> And what followed from these two pieces you authored? Both pieces suggest
> that they are only preliminary, did either of these concepts/fields get
> picked up anywhere else? (I assume that they did in other guises, but I
> feel that, despite running in the circles where one would expect to find
> these combinations, I haven't seen/heard these terms used - but this may be
> due to my ignorance...).
> Very curious.
> -greg
> On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> > Greg, I think that the answer is that these disciplines exist, but exist
> > alongside a myriad of other such specialised disciplines, contributing to
> > the fragmented image of the fragmented world we live in, which is
> presented
> > by academia. What Vygotsky and Luria and Leontyev were offering was a
> > General Psychology, as a foundation for a general, *interdisciplinary*
> > science of human life. Nothing wrong with specialisation of course.
> Science
> > is impossible without it. But Psychology, as the founders of CHAT
> imagined
> > it, was interdisciplinary, I believe, rather than a discipline which
> > defended its boundaries against encroachment, and carved out a niche for
> > itself.
> >
> > Andy
> >
> >
> > Greg Thompson wrote:
> >
> >> What ever happened to Ethnographic Psychology or Experimental
> >> Anthropology?
> >> In today's intellectual climate in Psychology and Anthropology, they
> feel
> >> like oxymorons, or even impossibilities (and perhaps to some very
> >> few, "cutting edge").
> >> Seems like we're just going around in circles...
> >> -greg
> >>
> >>
> >> On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 4:34 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> Here is a review I wrote some years ago about Luria's Nature of Human
> >>> Conflicts. It summarizes and provides illustrations of some of the
> issues
> >>> we have been discussing while introducing others.
> >>> Note that a few years ago, the book did appear in Russian based on
> >>> reconstruction of the original
> >>> manuscript by Victor Belopolsky. It is my impression that the book is
> >>> little known or appreciated in Russia but I might be mistaken.
> >>> For what its worth
> >>> mike
> >>> On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> Hi BJ-- I will get the article reviewing luria referred to in earlier
> >>>> message next.
> >>>>
> >>>> There is an attachment here.  Call it, Cole Review of Nature of Human
> >>>> Conflicts and put it under the Nature of Human Conflicts on the Luria
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> Pubs
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> page and on the page "about" luria.
> >>>>
> >>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> >>>> From: Brittany Loy <brittanyloy0217@pointloma.edu**>
> >>>> Date: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 10:02 AM
> >>>> Subject: Luria - New Vodka Old Bottle PDF
> >>>> To: Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> attached
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> > --
> > ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> > ------------
> >
> > *Andy Blunden*
> > Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> > Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
> > http://marxists.academia.edu/**AndyBlunden<
> http://marxists.academia.edu/AndyBlunden>
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Visiting Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson