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[Xmca-l] how to broaden/enliven the xmca discussion



I don't know, but it's hardly surprising if things were a little slow this last week as a lot of xmca-ers are also iscar-ers and we were all chatting like crazy in Sydney at the ISCAR Congress. Everyone (and I mean everyone, including every passenger on a Sydney suburban train as well) has their iPhones and tablets etc., so they could read/write on xmca, but I guess they were oversupplied with correspondents and protagonists.

My impressions of CHAT research:
On the positive side: very diverse, and at its best, sharp and critical in relation to the dominant political forces, and still way out in front in understanding the several developmental processes which all contribute to our actions (phylogenesis, historical genesis, mesogenesis, ontogenesis, microgenesis), and not focussing on just one. And I have to say it is a great community of research, relatively lacking in the competitiveness and jealousy which infects most research communities.

On the negative side:

   * Most CHAT people still have a concept of "society" as some
     homogeneous, abstract entity which introduces problems into the
     social situation on which they try to focus, i.e., people lack a
     viable social theory or the ability to use theory they have to
     analyse the wider social situation in a differentiated way.
   * The idea of "unit of analysis" is almost lost to us. Only a small
     minority know what it means and use the idea in their research.
   * The concept of "object" is at the centre of a lot of confusion;
     few researchers using the concept are clear on what the concept
     is. This is related to an unwillingness to confront and attempt to
     resolve the methodological differences (I refer to systematic
     difference, rather than accidental misunderstandings) within the
     CHAT community; perhaps it's fear of losing the relatively civil
     relations between researchers - people prefer to let differences
     just fester without openly discussing them. The old Soviet
     approach is gone, but perhaps we have gone too far the other way. :)

Andy


------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/


mike cole wrote:
Hi-- I assume you grabbed it from my erroneous response to someone who
wrote backto xmca instead of me.

Had dinner with tim ingold yesterday evening. Such an interesting and
unassuming guy.

Any ideas about how to broaden/enliven the xmca discussion??

mike