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[Xmca-l] Vygotsky and Mead



Recently a question of relating Mead's *positioning exchange* theory and
sociocultural approaches was explored.
I mentioned Alex Gillespie's work who has co-authored articles with Jack
Martin developing a neo-Meadian approach to positioning exchange.

Alex Gillespie now works at the London School of Economics and  with Tania
Zittoun will give the Neils Bohr lecture this next week.

I am posting the article if others are interested in this approach.  As I
read this article I was also reflecting on Charles Brazerman's
book exploring writing and  *Genres* . I believe the London School of
Economics is developing a new *genre* which weaves together
*context/situations*, AND *experiences/mind* AND *movement/positioning
exchange*.   The first part of the article briefly [and simply] states this
genre's approach. The method used to apply the theoretical is an extended
reflection on the diary of a young woman writing while living through World
War II.

Gillespie's and Zittoun's article  concluded with this summary:

"Our approach has been to build upon dialogical and sociocultural
approaches,

to take a temporal view based on the human body as both moving through

society and as the locus of experience. Analytically distinguishing proximal

and distal experiences allowed us to analyse the diverse dynamics and

negotiation that take place as people move through complex worlds, and how

experiences from distal contexts interact with immediate experiences,

becoming more or less integrated.

Neils Bohr argued that each method of experimenting with, for example

atoms, needed to be understood on its own terms. Different forms of

measurement might suggest, for example, that an atom is a wave or a

particle. Bohr argued that even though such accounts were logically

incompatible, they had to be seen as complementary (Valsiner, 2014a). We

want to conclude by suggesting that our foregoing analysis reveals two types

of complementarity.

First, at an empirical level, adopting a longitudinal perspective, we
suggest

that June in each of the three contexts above is, in a sense, a different

person. In the home context she is a “decent” girl but later she becomes
“that

type of girl.” In the home context she applies for land work to avoid more

dangerous and patriotic work, but in later contexts she is happy to take
credit

for her patriotic planting of onions. June is different in each context,
and to ask

which of these is ‘true’ is to miss the point that they are complimentary
in Niels

Bohr’s sense. But, psychology also goes beyond the complementarity found

in quantum mechanics. Humans have memory, and thus humans experience

their own contradictions. While an atom is not troubled by being a wave in
one

experiment (or context) and a particle in another, humans are troubled by

being different in different contexts. These are the tensions which June

experiences, and which propel her own development.

Second, at a theoretical level, we have been examining societal contexts on

the one hand and psychological experiences on the other. Invoking these two

theoretical frames may well open us to accusations of logical or

epistemological inconsistency. But, we begin our research not so much from

first principles, but from what is empirically evident. We are willing to
build an

analysis without foundations (Stenner, 2009), that is, to bring into the
analysis

theoretical frames first and foremost because they are useful or insightful.

Thus by examining the movement of June’s body in society as well as the

movements of her mind, we see a complementarity between, on the one side,

society, bodies and the resistance of materiality, and on the other side,

semiotic dynamics and the fluidity of imagination. Research has
traditionally

examined one, or the other, social constraints or semiotic imagination. Our

aim has been to try and hold together these incompatible, yet complementary,
aspects of our social and psychological being"


THIS *genre* is one attempt to extend Meadian *genres* of position exchange
and the process of developing  TYPES, KINDS, [Schultz] or  GENERALIZED
*others*. Narrative and genre are prominently featured as  WAYS of
internally positioning *experiences/mind* while also being externally
positioned by situations/contexts..

I read Alex and Tania's article through the insights of Charles Brazerman's
book which I downloaded from this site

Larry

Attachment: APRIL 18 2014 GILLESPIE ALEX ZITTOUN TANIA _body-and-mind-moving-between-contexts.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document