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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance [Language as a form]



Dana

I did not see your note before responding to Carol.
I personally am happy to engage your questions. Since you have been
observing for many years you should have a lot to contribute to those like
myself who have failed to answer them.

A belated thanks.
Mike

On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, Walker, Dana <Dana.Walker@unco.edu> wrote:

> Before we leave this topic, I would like to suggest that we pause to
> consider Annalisa's question:
>
> I'm curious how others have been inspired by Vygotsky and
> sociocultural theory, and even other manifestations of his ideas, such as
> CHAT, etc and how people are using these approaches in their work. What is
> that like for you? And to be more specific, what is that like for women and
> people of color? I'm also interested in thinking-out-loud with others about
> Vygotskian concepts that are not easy to understand; to employ in real time
> dialogue and social interaction to leap over zopeds together. Isn't that
> what a listserv is for? Or am I being too idealistic?
>
>
> For many years I have wondered why the participants on this list so seldom
> talk from contextualized positions, specifically positioning the self in
> relation to others and to power relations shaped by race, class, gender,
> and so on.  I am myself very aware of power relations being played out
> through the discursive positioning of people in this space, which is why I
> choose not to speak. I am wondering if any of the subscribers to this list
> are interested such questions, including the one framed by Annalisa above?
> Kris Gutierrez is the only one I know of in CHAT/sociocultural theory who
> deals with these issues, for example in her article "Developing a
> Sociocritical Literacy in the Third Space"(2008). But I'm sure there are
> others.
>
> Dana
>
> On 11/26/14 10:49 PM, "Carol Macdonald" <carolmacdon@gmail.com
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> >Hi
> >
> >There have been some off list postings about this phenomenon. None of it
> >complimentary.  This cannot be sorted out in one move.
> >
> >I propose that we move onto a different thread -  topic.
> >
> >Mike, would you like to start us off on something new?
> >
> >Carol
> >
> >On 27 November 2014 at 02:49, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
> <javascript:;>>
> >wrote:
> >
> >> Andy, if you're going to retire, then retire. But don't aim one or two
> >> more underhand blows behind the feint of retiring.
> >>
> >> Martin
> >>
> >> On Nov 26, 2014, at 7:24 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Well this bloke will retire again at this point. I thought for a brief
> >> moment there, I thought we had a breakthrough. Certainly, Huw's "real
> >> illusion" is perfectly apt to my mind (it's an expression Marx uses), or
> >> in  Eric Fromm's words, an illusion with "survival value." Martin says
> >> "Consciousness is an objective process that *sometimes* can *give rise
> >>to*
> >> illusions." As Vygotsky says "For him psychology is partly
> >>phenomenology."
> >> > Andy
> >> >
> >>------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> > *Andy Blunden*
> >> > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > Bruce Robinson wrote:
> >> >> Henry,
> >> >>
> >> >> Your wife's question leads to another: who speaks for the silent
> >> majority, many of whom, like me, must be getting fed up with what David
> >>K
> >> calls a "rather blokish struggle for power over particular words'? [Not
> >> Richard Nixon :)]
> >> >>
> >> >> Bruce R
> >> >>
> >> >> PS: You may also note that I have not changed the subject heading of
> >> this message so that it bears no relation to the content. Something
> >>else I
> >> find irritating...
> >> >>
> >> >> On 26/11/2014 17:16, HENRY SHONERD wrote:
> >> >>> Sister Analisa,
> >> >>> Thank you for responding! I was just talking to my wife (getting
> >> personal!) about the chat. She asked me, "How does anyone get to
> >> participate in the (XMCA) chat if only a few people take part?" I
> >>wondered
> >> in my email below if too much was expected of written communication in
> >>the
> >> XMCA chat. With 800 people potentially taking turns, well...what is even
> >> possible logistically? Mike Cole has talked about this, and, I think,
> >>has
> >> some suggestions on how to deal with the bottlenecking. But even small
> >> scale communication can be daunting. I watched, with my wife, a Richard
> >> Linklater movie last night, "Before Midnight". Two people, face to
> >>face, in
> >> a totally committed relationship, smart people, good people, trying so
> >>hard
> >> to get it right. Always a work in progress. But it's worth it. The
> >> alternative is despair. I am sure of this: This chat, which seems to get
> >> bogged down in abstractions, pure thinking in the mud, is really
> >> consequential beyond the sensitivities of academics. I said we
> >> >> va
> >> >>>  lue Vygotsky's "heroism", but that's too macho. I should have said
> >> courage.
> >> >>>
> >> >>> The Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis is a powerful idea, often
> >>called
> >> the Whorf/Sapir hypothesis. Google it. Really. See what you think. One
> >> gauge of the power of an idea is if it has found its way into popular
> >> discourse. I just this morning heard an NPR radio program (thanks again
> >>to
> >> my wife, who was listening when she heard something she thought I would
> >>be
> >> interested in) that dealt with the Whorf/Sapir hypothesis in its strong
> >>and
> >> weak form.
> >> >>>
> >> >>> Henry
> >> >>>
> >> >>>> On Nov 25, 2014, at 10:11 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu
> <javascript:;>>
> >> wrote:
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Dear Henry,
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Thank you for your reply.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> I don't think being personal (or even personable) requires being
> >> heated. Does this have to do with my comment of warmth as a sign of
> >>welcome?
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> To speak about culture non-personally is not something I am adept
> >>at
> >> doing. We are always speaking from where we stand, the culture that we
> >>are
> >> in or from, what-have-you.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Respectfully, I do not know what "linguistic relativity hypothesis"
> >> is. So please be patient with me while I connect this academic idea you
> >> have offered to this conversation so that I can relate that to my
> >>personal
> >> experience speaking on this thread, though clearly I'm not speaking
> >> literally right now, but it is speech from me, not a sock puppet with my
> >> voice thrown from the position of objective reality.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> You are talking about speaking two languages. But it seems we are
> >>all
> >> speaking English on this list. So I'm a bit lost right there what you
> >>are
> >> trying to say to me.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Then, you speak of metalinguistics and how it represents different
> >> worldviews, if you don't mind me swapping your use of "perspective" for
> >> worldview. There is a lot of time clearing muckups to get it right. I'm
> >>not
> >> sure that it ever gets right though, which troubles me. I have found
> >>that
> >> many people who have different worldviews communicate by "talking to,"
> >> rather than "talking at." I feel, for example, you and I are talking to
> >>one
> >> another, despite our likely different POVs.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> I don't know what the "perish and dapple of Andy" means when you
> >>say
> >> that. From what I can tell he's trying to define something for himself
> >> asking for the help of others. That's fine and I'm learning that
> >> definitions are very bas-relief for him. I think my interests are a
> >>little
> >> different. So I'd prefer to orient to my interests, if that is OK.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Speaking of metalinguistics, rather than debate over definitions,
> >>I'm
> >> more interested in speaking to the very different people who are on this
> >> list. The rumor is there are 800 folks out there. Where are you? :) To
> >> reference a highly academic quote from the Wizard of Oz:
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> "Come out, come out wherever you are, and meet the young lady who
> >> fell from the star!"
> >> >>>> --Glinda, the Good Witch from the North (waves magic wand)
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> I'm curious how others have been inspired by Vygotsky and
> >> sociocultural theory, and even other manifestations of his ideas, such
> >>as
> >> CHAT, etc and how people are using these approaches in their work. What
> >>is
> >> that like for you? And to be more specific, what is that like for women
> >>and
> >> people of color? I'm also interested in thinking-out-loud with others
> >>about
> >> Vygotskian concepts that are not easy to understand; to employ in real
> >>time
> >> dialogue and social interaction to leap over zopeds together. Isn't that
> >> what a listserv is for? Or am I being too idealistic?
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> I have tried to speak in an open, easy, and immediate manner, to
> >> allow others to engage. But I fear that engagement is never going to
> >>happen
> >> because all that persists are conversations about definitions, or
> >>whether
> >> nothing can come from nothing, and voila! subsequent debates ensue. Or
> >> someone will say, "We already discussed this 20 years ago!" Which means
> >>I
> >> missed the party, I suppose. Unfortunately, if I disagree with a
> >>position
> >> because I interpret differently, then I'm told to go read something
> >>without
> >> really a clear explanation why I'm supposed to go read something.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> I don't really agree with the approach of "read this," as an
> >>academic
> >> argument. Anyone is free to use it, and I have myself, but because I
> >>know
> >> how obtuse that can be, I couch it with my reasons why I think it would
> >>be
> >> a good read for that person, and what I think there is learn from
> >>reading.
> >> I think the "read this" approach, when it is offered with the tone of
> >>"now
> >> go eat your vegetables!" fails in the making of speech between people.
> >>All
> >> it does is shut things down.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> If the reading truly is relevant, it seems far more productive in
> >>the
> >> moment of speech to cue a person what to look for, to supply a context,
> >> especially when referencing an entire book, for example, or the link to
> >>an
> >> entire website full of texts.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Your assessment in the physicality of language is something with
> >> which I am completely in agreement. Especially since we all seem to
> >>agree
> >> with the material aspects of language. So the question at hand is a
> >>matter
> >> of form. Form has an aesthetic but also has a purpose. Are we throwing
> >> ropes or throwing boulders? If throwing boulders, where does that need
> >>to
> >> throw boulders come from? If throwing ropes, then at least connections
> >>are
> >> being made for those who might not be very clear about ideas and who may
> >> require a helping hand.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Then there's the old, but handy, elliptical comment, something
> >>like a
> >> boomerang... meant to be subtle or ironic at the expense of someone who
> >>may
> >> not understand.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> At this point, I'd to emphasize that being ignorant is not being
> >> stupid, but it seems someone who is ignorant is frequently treated as
> >> stupid (um, on this list). This "phenomenon" has made me reflect upon
> >>how
> >> little time is spent upon the nature of ignorance in education and the
> >> dynamics of ignorance in speaking. Every one of us is ignorant about
> >>most
> >> things in the world. And yet being ignorant is seen as an
> >>embarrassment, a
> >> deficiency, a lapse in character. I vehemently disagree with this
> >>reception
> >> to ignorance. Even Einstein said something like, "The more I know, the
> >>more
> >> I see how much I don't know." Such an aggressive position toward
> >>ignorance
> >> is nothing but hurtful, even arrogant. Arrogance is a blister, a defense
> >> mechanism from previous hurt. A person who is honest about one's own
> >> ignorance is a very strong person and is showing a willingness to learn
> >> something. I think all teachers will agree that a person who knows one
> >> doesn't know is an easier student to teach tha
> >> >> n
> >> >>>   one who doesn't know one doesn't know.
> >> >>>> Iconicity is something I can hang my hat on. I see it is related to
> >> pointing. What I like about pointing is that it is a gesture, which
> >>implies
> >> movement, in the way the word is also movement. I hope I have made
> >> sufficient personal connections to your concepts without the heat. Thank
> >> you for offering them to me.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Kind regards,
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Annalisa
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >--
> >Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> >Developmental psycholinguist
> >Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
> >Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>
>
>

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