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[Xmca-l] Re: Nissen on working with youth

In Nissen's theory a collective is a project, not something imagined. A project does entail a figured world a la Dot Holland, but a figured world lacks a collective motive which unites the collective. A figured world is just a field of individual competition for rewards.
*Andy Blunden*

Larry Purss wrote:
This thread is focusing on Nissen's work as presented in the two articles

I would like to return to the "journal of Dialogic Pedagogy" article on
page A25.

He describes his concept of *"collective" *as a term which brings together
meaning and sense.
He writes,

"I suggest the concept of *collective* as a kind of *subject*.  A community
whose singular existence is no longer accidental, nor simply a function of
a shared project, but self-constituted and self-conscious, mediated by its
precarious relations to other subjects - including, importantly,
participants - as these relations are formed *in and with* cultural
standards under singular circumstances.  Recognizing itself as recognized
by these others.  In the terms of Hegel's dialectics, it is a singular "we"
that exists *in and for itself *as an "us".  The implication is that
empowerment involves recognition as participant of recognized

I would suggest that Nissen's concept "collective" may be considered a
"figural world" that in being seen "as such" becomes that which is

Another central concept that Nissen uses is "prototypical" as indicating
the way or approach of modelling practises as "embodying" concrete
universals.  Another world with similar quality would be "incarnating"
concrete universals. Nissen is suggesting Freire's work on
"conscientization" can be used as a "prototypical model" and in this way
can be transported to other places and times such as Copenhagen and working
with youth on the streets.
Nissen is asking how concepts such as "collectives" and "prototypical" can
be related to different traditions that carry what seem like different
meanings but may potentially share a common sense. [theme]

For example he asks,

"How did *conscientization* develop from Christian *conscience* and
Enlightenment *consciousness*, and how did it later transform into a
psychologized empowerment?" This question is addressed as this movement is
explored in the article.

Prototypical concrete universals are *theoretical, but they do not easily
translate* to an immediate common sense. They must be mediated within
*collectives* and therefore do not lend themselves to simple and
reductionist standardized concepts. [such as in dictionaries].
To understand prototypical concepts we need time and effort to first take
the prototypes seriously, in their own right, and then time and effort [as
models] to make them relevant as they are translated across space and time.

I hope I have done justice to Morten Nissen's understanding of the concepts
"collectives" and "prototypes" which found insightful and I hope to explore
further. I would recommend reading the two articles. He has thought deeply
on these "themes"

On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 9:45 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

Very interesting, Larry. So some ideas are tracking here.


He points out that within a Bahktinian perspective znachenie [meaning] is
the *arena* for the evolution of the opposition between the I/you.

And not from a Vygotskian perspective? Do Bakhtin and Voloshinov part ways
I am pre-occupied with a series of other tasks and cannot turn back to
these texts
at present but am reading the discussion with a lot of interest and doing
my best to keep up.

On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 9:20 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks Mike for this lead. I will google her work.

I also have downloaded the other Morten Nissen article written for the
Journal of Dialogic Pedagogy. That paper referenced a work by Fernanda
Coelho Liberali [Creative Chain in the Process of Becoming a Totality]
In the article is an extended discussion of "meaning" and "sense"
and contrasting Vygotsky's and Bahktin's approaches to these ideas.
It is interesting that Vygotsky references "smysl" as "sense" while
references "smysl" as "themes".

I will offer a glimpse into the way Liberali is approaching "meaning" .

He points out that within a Bahktinian perspective znachenie [meaning] is
the *arena* for the evolution of the opposition between the I/you.

A. A. Leontiev [2002a] affirms that mastery of meaning is the most
important way in which individual behaviour can be mediated through
experience ... realized through various significations ....
Therefore znachenie introduces an idea of the power of existence *yet to
come. The power of becoming *or "zone" of potential development. In *this
sense *[of meaning] the "zone" leads to the possibility of creativity...
Fundamentally, it indicates meaning *as the potential for human beings
within the "zone"*.  The "place" where human beings get together to
new meanings through the sense they share together in the chain of
activities they take part in throughout their lives.

I once again return to Zinchenko's "hypothesis" that it is in the act of
imagining "inner form" that inner form comes into being. It is for this
"reason" that I use this "method" of presenting versions of znachenie and
smysl and in this process of presenting versions am participating in a
of shared creation through imagining inner form [and outer form].
As Zinchenko mentioned he is haunted by the image of  oscillating sense

If others would like a copy of Liberali's article I could send.  It is
one version of one perspective of meaning and sense but is engaging with
the power of becoming within zones.

On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 4:26 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:


Locally we have been attracted by the idea of "figured worlds" which we
learned from the work of Dotti Holland. A local colleague, Chandra
has written persuasively about, for example, the construction of the
gardens at Versaille and is many practices as creating the space to
Paris as the new (imagined!) Rome.  This idea seems to capture of a lot
what you are gesturing toward in your invocations of space, field,
,,,,,,,,,etc. and that activities that constituted it as a space.


On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 10:44 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>

I would answer "yes" that everywhere peoples "care" about "forming

So from this recognition of multiple centers of "care" [and also
standards] how do we embrace "bildung" but avoid ideological
I would suggest the notion of "places" as "spaces of formation" that
exploring "situated care" and "situated agency".  This involves
questions of "care"  to be explored and developed within novel
[places].  I would point out that many of these places are using
such as "hybrid" places that are not merely subjective and not merely
objective but "third spaces" of transformation. I would also suggest
are imagining certain "kinds" of persons with certain "dispositions"
abide within these formative "places" [or spaces]

Places where we can [with care] bring our notions of "bildung" and
questions of who decides, about what, in which situations.

The Places [zones, clearings, fields, circles, etc] from which we
hybrid cultural forms.
Places not as "literal" but "imaginal" could be ... places, possible
places, which in creating/discovering THIS "scene" [as an
the possible]  is realizing and articulating "our culture".  [and

Does this forming places always have to be a dialectical struggle??
question a pastoral utopian type question which will not be able to
and come "to life"??

Interpretive community is another way to picture or figure this
How powerful are "models" for showing or indicating the possibility
bringing to form an ethical kind of "approach"??  Not standards but a
different notion of "facets" [as faces of the possible] Always
never re-producible but using "models" to show the possibility.

Always in full recognition that one person's utopia may be another's
ideological imperialism.
Never going beyond the ethical [as the piety of questions].
the Eurocentric notion of "bidung" and opening a place for hybrid
neither purely subjective nor purely objective.  Third spaces.

On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 9:50 AM, Greg Thompson <

And note that this piece articulates very nicely with the issues on
other thread about the transferrability of pedagogy across
contexts, or as Nissen says:

" the question whether and how standards of educational practice
transferred across great spatio-temporal and socio-cultural
far from straightforward
​ ​
and simple: addressing a Brazilian audience with Danish
experience, I
impelled to reconsider it."

I would add that this piece also articulates with Martin Packer's
"constitution" in that Nissen suggests that pedagogy is the

That also takes us back to bildung - is this ideological
I would argue, with Nissen (I think), that it is not, but rather
a cultural universal. The particular forms vary dramatically from
cultural context to the next but it seems to me that peoples
care very much about "forming persons".



On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 9:17 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

Morten's article from J. Dialogical Pedagogy, "Meeting youth in
and on neutral ground" attached. I thought this had been posted
part of the discussion. Apologies.
PS-- Check out the journal. Open access, interesting, or so I
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

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

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