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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?
I think your point about the segregation of children and workers from
productive activities seems an important point to consider in the larger
context of why psychologists have been so taken by the intrinsic/extrinsic
dichotomy. I don't know Danziger but I wonder if there might also be
something important that comes with separating children from productive
work. Obviously something is lost here. But it seems that something is
gained in the sense that children are, at least theoretically, freed from
necessity. I say "at least theoretically" because in most cases, it is just
the exchange of one necessity for another: the necessity to labor
productively is exchanged for the necessity to get good grades. But there
is the theoretical potential for real, engaging play.
Also, I wonder if you could expand on this:
"This dialogic relation between self and object-motive is, I
think, what's intended by mutual constitution of the subject/object-motive
in Leont'ev and others' formulations. This is where I've started to make
headway in thinking about motivation when a child contributes
collaboratively and with initiative toward a shared motive."
I'm not sure I follow whether or not you are pointing to a dialogical or
dialectical relationship, or whether that is a distinction that matters to
you? (some people make too big a deal about this distinction and others use
the terms internchangeably so I'm just wondering what you mean by it - for
my two bits, "mutual constitution" sounds more dialectical to me).
But more importantly, I was wondering about the headway you are making in
thinking about motivation. It sounded like there is more here and I'd love
to hear more.
p.s. I clipped the message so responses going forward won't have that
terribly long thread trailing behind (although those threads can be useful
for finding one's way back...).
On Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 3:46 PM, Andrew Coppens <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Hi everyone -
> Thanks in advance for bearing with a long post from a usual listener here.
> I'm also working on an alternative to the deeply entrenched
> intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy. I'm trying to explain a pervasive cultural
> pattern among Indigenous American children: the motivation to contribute
> autonomously (i.e., under their own initiative) and with responsibility to
> productive family and community endeavors, as integrated participants and
> meaningful collaborators in cultural activities. What are the motivational
> affordances of children having opportunities to "take part" in mature
> endeavors? What is the draw of "bigger than me" activities?
> First, I've found it instructive to consider parallels in historical timing
> between the emergence of a motivational science and the segregation of
> children from productive work in the middle-class West, both around the
> turn of the 20th century. Kurt Danziger has written on this in *Naming the
> Mind. *I believe this cultural pattern (the segregation of children and
> workers from productive activities and their motives) has become somewhat
> of an unquestioned epistemological principle in canonical motivational
> theory, and certainly in the intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy.
> >From a CHAT perspective, would the idea of an "extrinsic reward" even hold
> water? Mainstream motivational research gives enough evidence to defend the
> idea that when "extrinsic rewards" undermine intrinsic motivation, what
> might be happening is a transformation of the student's/child's activity
> and the material reward is the pivot. That new activity (e.g., getting a
> grade) is not nearly as compelling as mastering material to do something
> productive and interesting. But "getting a grade" is inherent/intrinsic,
> not extrinsic, to the activity of IPBSchooling. This motivational
> transformation can happen in the reverse direction too (see WM Roth and RM
> Larson), through a move from periphery to center a la Lave & Wenger.
> So, not "extrinsic" but also not "intrinsic" in the conventional sense.
> When self-in-activity is the unit of analysis for questions about
> motivation, the intrinsic-as-internal metaphor seems very inadequate.
> "Intrinsic" comes to encompass the entire activity, and the self in
> relation to it. This dialogic relation between self and object-motive is, I
> think, what's intended by mutual constitution of the subject/object-motive
> in Leont'ev and others' formulations. This is where I've started to make
> headway in thinking about motivation when a child contributes
> collaboratively and with initiative toward a shared motive.
> There is definitely work on this topic. Ruth Paradise (2005) has a very
> nice paper in Spanish also using the term "inherent" motivation, and
> Barbara Rogoff has alluded to this idea in several places in the mid-1990s.
> Dan Hickey and others have written wonderfully about sociocultural
> perspectives on achievement motivation theory, in ways that would coincide
> with thoughts on this thread so far. Dorothy Lee (1961) calls this
> "autonomous motivation". There are many others, including key insights from
> Carol Dweck and Mark Lepper.
> Thanks for listening and hopefully correcting,
> Andrew D. Coppens
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602