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[Xmca-l] Re: Thoughts on culture & liberty
Compelling as the "liberal/ethical relations" notion is, it does seem to
imply that there is an ideal form of personality constituting this
(essentially psychodynamic) notion of culture (i.e. as the kind of ethical
regard required to constitute a zpd). Is that justifiable I wonder?
Personally, I tend to think that it is what constitutes civilization (in
the sense Clive Bell used, as an attitude or state of mind). Yet it would
be rather abhorrent to turn it into dogma.
For those wondering what this is about, I'll attempt a brief analogy. To
undertake science (to become a scientist) it is generally necessary to
accommodate certain world views about objectivity etc. In a similar way,
an ideal orientation to teaching/development (i.e. a zpd-like relation)
implicates an interpersonal relation of a similar "world view" type
magnitude, such as the considerate (agency-empowering) regard one has for
one-self and others. Instead of thinking of this as some sort of skilful
aspect of (or adjunct to) culture, it appears to be something much more
central and, indeed, more culturally important than the particular
technological (or mnemonic) form a society takes. It is more about
relations of power and community (or its absence) than about artifacts etc.
To the degree that people have power, they have the power to adopt
egalitarian forms of conduct (though they may, presumably, lose that power
in doing so). Power may be obtained through technical, mnemonic and
linguistic forms, yet the relation to this power, the way it is wielded,
seems to be influenced by cultural knowledge (or values) of a different
order to that of artifacts etc.
The etymological senses of caring and cultivating certainly seem to support
this view. (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=culture). In this
sense, the ZPD and similar relations are not imparting culture, they are
On 10 February 2015 at 06:02, Larry Purss <email@example.com> wrote:
> The notion of culture [as "bildung"] is a concept of learning that has a
> history of colonial and Eurocentric prejudices.
> However when I read Anna Stetsenko's notion of TAS [Transformative Activist
> Stance] or Kris's "third wave" and testimonio or the concept of "ZPD" is it
> possible to consider these enactments also participating in cultivating
> bildung as cultivating a particular "stance" or "position"? Cultivating a
> particular "approach" or "method"? Another example is "kobito theory"
> which can be considered a particular way of constellating interactions.
> Is the fact that the notion of bildung as "cultivation" historically
> has been Eurocentric in its enactments and used in processes of domination
> mean the concept of culture as cultivation is bankrupt? Or can this concept
> of "bildung" be transformed to re-imagine striving to cultivate new forms
> of collaboration [through "bildung"]
> In other words can the concept of "bildung" be expanded beyond its
> Eurocentric prejudices and "constellate" new ways of participating in
> collaborative projects which are "hybrid" forms that become actualized and
> then nurtured and cultivated?
> I recognize a "shadow side" to notions of "bildung" as pre-formed and
> static and "dead" [not living forms. I recognize there always exists a
> "gap" between the pre-formed and the emergent form and this gap must be
> continually negotiated, however, I still question if notions such as
> Stetsenko's TAS are ethically formed "dispositions" that through
> cultivation develop as particular ways to "approach" the "gap" in a spirit
> of openness and attentiveness to next steps.
> On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 8:11 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Hi Andy,
> > I very much enjoyed your use of the metaphor of constellation for
> > because there is an arrangement of all that constitutes culture, with
> > spaces and distances in between.
> > I also like the idea of thinking about culture as adjectives and adverbs,
> > which you didn't say, but almost did!
> > Kind regards,
> > Annalisa