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[Xmca-l] Re: Polysemy of "Community"
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Polysemy of "Community"
- From: "Cliff O'Donnell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:45:42 -1000
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Yes, the embodiment is "not the precondition of man’s formation but
On Aug 14, 2013, at 6:59 PM, mike cole wrote:
Colleagues-- Is there perhaps some relationship between the notions of
"shared artifacts" and "shared meanings?" If Mandelshtam forgot the
wanted to say, and thought,
unembodied, returned to the hall of shadows" what is the form of the
embodiment if not in something human-created, a paricular,
sedimented, materialized configuration of the human voice that, dare
consider it, ART-i-ficial?
On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 9:16 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com>
That's an alternative way to go, Cliff, define "community" by "shared
meanings," but the upshot of that way is the counter-intuitive
that kids and their parents belong to different "cultural
There is one point which I must clarify though from your last words
"The material form of an artifact may be universal in the sense
that we may
all agree on the label for it. However, the artifact may have very
different meanings for us." No. The artefacts have a universal
form despite us having "different labels" for it. The foundation of
science is that matter exist independently of human activity,
natural laws which are knowable. And natural science has a right to
it is not a giant mistake. We *do* of course ascribe different
one and the same material form or object, but that is thanks to human
activity. The matter exists independently of our interpretation of
is why I know I can rely on artefacts to provide a sound, universal
foundation for "community," and I leave it entirely open that a
multiplicity of meanings and actions are in conflict within the
Cliff O'Donnell wrote:
So I can see a problem with making "community" the subject matter,
"unit of analysis" for a study;
We agree. That is why activity settings are the units of
one would have to first select an artefact or combination of
(such as language and land) which serves to define the basis of
"community." The point then is that the "community" is *not*
So why define community by artifacts? Why not by shared meanings?
in fact, different components of the "community" may attach
diametrically opposite meanings to a given artefact (word,
...) or even use it in ways which are quite incommensurable.
If community is defined by shared meanings, those with
opposite meanings" would by definition belong to different cultural
communities (even if they did live in the same geographical unit).
But! the material form of the artefact is *universal* in what ever
it is used, meant or interpreted. The *materiality* of artefacts
foundation was what is *universal* in human life. Projects give
us what is
*particular* in human life (ascribing different meanings to one
same artefact), and actions (not persons) give us what is
human life, for the purposes of theoretical analysis.
The material form of an artifact may be universal in the sense
we may all agree on the label for it. However, the artifact may
different meanings for us and these meanings may lead to quite
actions and, as you point out, be the basis for conflict.
Clifford R. O'Donnell, Ph.D.
Past-President, Society for Community Research and Action (APA
University of Hawai‘i
Department of Psychology
2530 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822