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[Xmca-l] Re: Community Psychology



Greg,

This quote from Seymour Sarason struck a nerve with me.  Did psychology focus on the individual or did psychology focus on the simple.  I am thinking more and more rich, complex ideas are introduced and then there often seems to be a regression to the simply - and I keep have to remind myself those things I believe often provide a limited picture - that our beliefs limit what we will let ourselves see.  I am thinking perhaps this relates to meaning.  As you mentioned does meaning have to be absolute or anarchic, is there something in the middle.  I feel like the target article tries to speak to that when speaking of shared meaning in culture, almost that even shared meaning is a double edged sword, that we need it because it makes our work easier, but that it also restricts our possibilities - it is dangerous to go beyond the boundaries of shared meaning, but then we fear anarchy, perhaps our meaning id.  But can we see meaning as a continuous process.  I know - or I believe Bakhtin speaks to this, but honestly I don't have enough knowledge to talk about this.  But I wonder (and this is based on readings I have been doing on technologists like Douglas Engelbart and Ted Nelson) something with simultaneously respect and struggle with.  Respect because we take seriously where it comes from, we do not simply grab it from the air for our own purposes - something that happens more than we like to admit - but has a real history, a web like evolution that (at least now) can go back and explore.  At the same time meaning is only as valuable as its function in meeting our needs.  That we realize there is a chance, a good chance, that the meaning we have now may not work to solve our problems.  So we try and understand - or re-understand it in our current circumstance, in the process changing its historical meaning for the next node in the web - I sort of feel that was part of the purpose of the article.  That is re-engages us in re-understanding what zone of proximal development and activity settings mean in that shadow of
 problems faced by community psychology.

Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Thompson
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 12:11 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Community Psychology

Mike,

Well, if it was just rats in mazes, you surely appreciated this from Sarason's piece that you just sent:

"American psychology has always been a psychology of the individual. I have long maintained that if Thorndike had put more than one rat in the maze, we would have had a more productive and realistic basis for understanding social behavior. Riveting on the individual organism has had the effect of blunting the study of contexts-that is, ecology"

So, did you ever try it?
-greg


On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 9:54 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> When I was at Yale, Greg, I was a rat psychologist and an assistant 
> professor. My work was not connected with the volunteer work we did in 
> our local community. I knew Seymour, and visited the clinic, but I was 
> already very distracted by the appearance of research in Africa to 
> deal with -- a seemingly unrelated set of professional concerns.
>
> It was not until we began conducting research in New York that I made 
> intellectual contact with Seymor again. As the MCA articles indicate, 
> he been a central source of ideas for a great many people associated 
> with LCHC.
> mike
>
> On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 8:35 AM, Greg Thompson 
> <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Quick question for anyone who knows about ropes and tensile strength:
> >
> > Is the tensile strength of the rope greater than the sum of the 
> > tensile strength of each of the threads?
> >
> > I ask b.c. I've been talking holism a lot lately and have been 
> > looking
> for
> > a good metaphor for the notion of "emergent properties".
> >
> > -greg
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 9:19 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > I forgot about Inglod, Larry. Of course!
> > > Can you pick out a parallel passage from his work.
> > > The rope metaphor also has an interesting affinity to the use of 
> > > the pathways metaphor to describe ontogenetic development.
> > >
> > > mike
> > >
> > > On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 8:09 AM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Mike,
> > > > This book seems to be focused specifically on the theme of the
> > discussion
> > > > as it is unfolding.
> > > > Ingold's metaphor of rope as particular lines of carrying on
> together I
> > > > read as questioning another metaphor of *totality* which carries 
> > > > on
> > with
> > > > notions of parts and wholes that articulate together or joint
> together
> > > into
> > > > a context of totality.
> > > > The existence of these parts that exist as substance which joint
> > together
> > > > coincidently.
> > > >
> > > > The rope metaphor is challenging this nice packaged *totality*
> metaphor
> > > > where the parts fit together or are articulated with nothing 
> > > > left
> out.
> > > > Your question asking what exists as excess beyond the boundary
> marking
> > > > (naming) of activity setting may be reflected upon as parts or 
> > > > lines
> of
> > > > inquiry.
> > > >
> > > > Parts carrying on or travelling within totality/wholes Lines 
> > > > carrying on within ropes Larry
> > > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: "mike cole" <mcole@ucsd.edu>
> > > > Sent: ‎2016-‎03-‎21 12:22 PM
> > > > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Community Psychology
> > > >
> > > > Trying to follow through on each of the concepts, Cliff.
> > > >
> > > > In this connection, I notice that you use the term "activity setting"
> > > which
> > > > you attribute to Vygotsky. The book I took the McDermott 
> > > > materials
> from
> > > is
> > > > called "Understanding Practice: Perspectives on activity and context.
> > In
> > > > that book, in the discussions among authors, Engestrom is led to
> > declare
> > > > that "the activity is the context."
> > > >
> > > > So my mind is spinning around what an activity setting might 
> > > > refer to
> > > over
> > > > and above "activity." And then there is the question of how your 
> > > > use
> of
> > > the
> > > > term context and the word setting relate to each other. And all 
> > > > of
> this
> > > is
> > > > presumably closely linked to the discussion on text/context.
> > > >
> > > > Interesting to revisit old topics from new perspectives.
> > > >
> > > > mike
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 11:55 AM, Cliff O'Donnell 
> > > > <cliffo@hawaii.edu
> >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Thanks, Mike. Attached is the manuscript for my 2012 article 
> > > > > with
> > > Roland.
> > > > > In it we discuss how we are using the concepts of context, 
> > > > > culture,
> > and
> > > > > intersubjectivity.
> > > > > Note that context is expressed in one of the goals of 
> > > > > community
> > > > psychology
> > > > > by its professional organization, the Society for Community 
> > > > > Research and Action (SCRA):
> > > > > ‘'to promote theory development and research that increases 
> > > > > our understanding of human behavior in context’'
> > > > > (SCRA 2010 )."
> > > > >
> > > > > After discussing the many meanings of culture, we used the
> definition
> > > as
> > > > > the "shared meanings of people, developed through their 
> > > > > history and activities." Also in our discussion of 
> > > > > intersubjectivity, we
> > noted
> > > > > "intersubjectivity does not imply uniformity. Diversity may be 
> > > > > a
> > shared
> > > > > value,
> > > > > agreement about process may allow frequent conflict, and there 
> > > > > will
> > > > always
> > > > > be differences among people in their skills, thoughts, 
> > > > > experience,
> > and
> > > > > emotions. In
> > > > > addition, activity settings are dynamic; their characteristics 
> > > > > are
> in
> > > > flux
> > > > > and, therefore, the intersubjectivity of their participants 
> > > > > change
> > over
> > > > > time (O’Donnell et al.
> > > > > 1993, p. 507)."
> > > > >
> > > > > Cliff
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Mar 20, 2016, at 8:26 AM, mike cole wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Alfredo's comments sent me looking for background material on 
> > > > > the
> CC
> > > side
> > > > >> of Roland and Cliff's article.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> There is an article by Seymour as part of a special issue of 
> > > > >> MCA a
> > > while
> > > > >> ago. It seems not to have attraced the notice it
> deserves.Attached.
> > > > >> Also attached is a recent summary of Community Psychology and
> > > > Intervention
> > > > >> research which seemed like promising background and perhaps a
> source
> > > of
> > > > >> additional ideas, since intervention is what so many us do
> > > > professionally.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Myself, I have been thinking about why Roland and Cliff 
> > > > >> identified secondary intersubjectivity as a key common principle.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> mike
> > > > >>
> > > > >> --
> > > > >>
> > > > >> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science 
> > > > >> with
> an
> > > > >> object
> > > > >> that creates history. Ernst Boesch <Revisiting the Creating 
> > > > >> of Settings.pdf><communitypsych.pdf>
> > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > >
> > > > 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
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > Assistant Professor
> > Department of Anthropology
> > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >
>
>
>
> --
>
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an 
> object 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
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson