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[Xmca-l] Re: Soviet Psychology Overview Article

Well, you were certainly speaking in the spirit of Vygotsky in saying that CHAT would have to be accepted as "Psychology" in order to fully develop and achieve its potential. You are also undoubtedly correct in seeing disciplinary boundaries and entrenched hegemonies as insuperable barriers to this project. Your decision to set up camp in "Communications" was probably a wise one.
It is a looong process.
*Andy Blunden*
On 8/12/2015 2:40 PM, mike cole wrote:
When cultural psychology reappeared on the American radar in the early 1980's, Andy, many argued that it was a "branch of psychology." I argued that in order for it to be fulfilled it would have to become Psychology, so it would never happen because entrenched structures of the disciplines would never allow one of its parts to become the the organizing whole. This applies within existing structure of Psychology and among the humane and biological sciences and arts would have to be re-configured.

Maybe I was wrong. But I cannot see it happening in my life time. Time will tell.

On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 6:43 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    I found this paper extremely interesting.
    It's rather confronting opening, saying that Soviet
    Psychology had "failed," is really crediting the
    world-conquering ambition of Vygotsky's vision
    expressed in the "Crisis of Psychology" text, towards
    forming not a "Marxist psychology" (i.e. yet another
    school) but "general psychology" - that is, he aimed
    to reorganise psychology internationally. I think we
    take for granted now, that psychology is fragmented
    into myriad schools, but in those times, the interwar
    years, this fragmentation of psychology was emblematic
    of the world crisis manifested in the rise of fascism
    and stalinism and the evident termination of progress
    in Europe. It was a central problem for all theory! At
    that time, it was still expected that Psychology would
    develop like the natural sciences. So I accept the
    author's characterisation, together with the claim
    that Vygotsky's vision is gradually being fulfilled
    and his school has made a crucial contribution to the
    eventual achievement of an international psychology.
    The paper is very optimistic in that respect.
    I like the perspective for International psychology -
    the merging of universal, cultural and indigenous
    currents of research. Very interesting. Also the view
    that Psychology will develop along too distinct paths
    - the reductive neurophysiological and the humanistic
    - with Luria in a founding role in both! This seems a
    valid description, and emphasises the importance of
    promoting understanding of Luria's life.
    I have made a very modest effort to trace how Hegel's
    efforts in philosophy to create what could be
    conceived of as a cultural psychology took about 80
    years before manifesting in Vygotsky's ideas. And it
    seems there is a second phase of that journey being
    described in this paper. A grand vision cannot
    directly translate into a global research program. It
    has to arise bit by bit.
    The characterisation of the internationalisation
    process as spread of mainstream Psychology + interest
    in cultural variation. I don't know about this one.
    I did find a couple of criticisms of Vygotsky odd,
    mainly that Vygotsky did not give a prominent place to
    *collaboration* in his psychology (while Piaget did)
    because he "took collaboration for granted" - I think
this is an error. "Collaboration" is one of the ways Vygotsky's ideas connected up with people in the West.
    The author's ideas about how research is transmitted,
    or taken up, are interesting too. That theories are
    appropriated piecemeal and put to work in the research
    project which is doing the appropriation.
    The three reasons why Vygotsky's school "failed" to
    win over to an international psychology: (1) stalinist
    repression (2) lack of attention to experimental
    research and the careful documenting of their protocol
    - seem reasonable, though I think the ideological gap
    and the uniqueness in time and place of the conditions
    of the revolutionary ferment which gave birth the CHAT
    ought to be mentioned too. The author instead refers
    to "overemphasis on theory".
    Wonderfully comprehensive review of the development of
    international psychology!
    Thanks for that Mike (and for your contributions as
    document in the chapter!)
    *Andy Blunden*
    On 8/12/2015 4:45 AM, mike cole wrote:

        Yes, Huw.  I found that odd too. Perhaps it is the
        date? I also posted it
        on a Russian site. It will be interesting to see
        what they have to say.

        Yes, Larry, that is an amazing archive. I did not
        have time to peruse it.


        On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 8:10 AM, Lplarry
        <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:

            The entire edited volume seems a treasure
            trove of tracing the formation
            and dissemination of knowledge(s) moving
            through time. A profound work of

            -----Original Message-----
            From: "Huw Lloyd" <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com
            Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎07 7:40 AM
            To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
            Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Soviet Psychology
            Overview Article

            It seems completely nuts to describe the
            soviet research program as a
            failure.  They demonstrated far more success
            than any other endeavour in
scientific psychology that I have studied. Most psychology projects can't
            even establish a coherent theory, let alone
            apply it. They are forever
            wading around in hypotheses and impressions,
            or focusing upon incoherent
            slices of phenomena without regard to its origins.

            "Psychology today is undergoing a
            transformation. It is becoming an
            international science, which aspires to
            uncover universal laws of human
            behavior and cognition as well as to account
            for their cultural variation.
            How can we understand the transformation of
            concepts, ideas, and approaches
            involved in this process? In this chapter, I
            examine a historical precedent
            for the globalization of psychology. In the
            1920s–1930s, a group of Soviet
            researchers led by L.S. Vygotsky proposed a
            new kind of scientific
            psychology that would be international in
            scope. It was revolutionary in
            its assumption that the study of mind and
            behavior, in phylo- and
            had to be grounded in the study of the
            cultural and material conditions in
            which people live. Although this research
            program as such largely failed,
            the Soviet psychologists contributed much of
            value, and their ideas were
            taken up—and transformed—by Western
            psychologists. These ideas form the
            basis of the genuinely international
            psychology that is only just emerging
            today, and to which the “cultural-historical”
            psychology of the Soviets was
            a precursor."



            On 6 December 2015 at 19:45, mike cole
            <mcole@ucsd.edu <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu>> wrote:

                This morning I stumbled over the attached
                historical overview of Soviet
                Psychology in relation to international
                psychology that I thought would


                of interest to MCA-o-philes.




                It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as
                a natural science with an
                object 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