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

I found Kaptelinin's article in MCA invaluable, Mike. Bonnie Nardi I had the great pleasure of meeting for the first time at ISCAR, and if she has written something on "object" that is very good news. I don't think the problem is intractable, though I don't think one good book or one good article is enough. But for example, for a long while I have been jumping up and down about how people use the word "perezhivanie" without an article (the, a, an some, etc) implying it is some kind of "substance" whereas in Russian it is a count noun. While there remains outstanding differences about what perezhivanie means, I notice that almost all bar one now use it with an article. So, however that happened that is a step forward, and people are aware of the differences in interpretation and they are being discussed. I think if we talk about "object" for a while, maybe this can be straightened out. I know the task of conceptual consistency in our research community seems to be a hopeless task, but I am optimistic.

*Andy Blunden*

mike cole wrote:
Those certainly seem like lively topics, Andy. I had in mind specifically topics that are on peoples' minds that go U discussed. I hope that the time spent at ISCAR produces a shower of interesting ideas. Isn't that the object of such gatherings? (Whatever object means!). :-). The Nardi and Kaptelinin chapter on basics of AT is one good source, but it seems the problem is intractable!


On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    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 Blunden*

    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??


It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.