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[Xmca-l] Re: Agent, Range, and Beneficiary


I think the main way in which the NAME "Vygotsky" is propagated in Korea is
through a very successful private cram school that specializes in child
literacy. There are Vygotsky cards and Vygotsky songs and expensive
Vygotsky daycare centres and so on. Here's an example:


There are also a lot of books ABOUT Vygotsky, but, as you surmise, they
tend to reflect the interpretations of American scholars. (After we
published our translation of "Thinking and Speech" a group of Russian
professors at Korea University got together and translated--Minick's
ENGLISH translation of the book! There is also a translation of Hanfmann
and Vakar's English translation available.)

Our books, which are actually BY Vygotsky, are mostly read by radical
teachers, many supporters of the banned teachers' union. There have been a
number of books put out by radical teachers ABOUT our books: "How to
Read 'Thinking and Speech: An Easy Way" (which is, by the way, not an easy
book to read--it's mostly a set of quotations from Vygotsky which teachers
discuss in group study). Last year some teachers put together a collection
on HDHMF called "Vygotsky: A Relational Pedagogy". These books sell in the
thousands, but not in the tens of thousands.

Is the Korean Vygotsky different from the American one? He's not an
activity theorist, and he's also not a Piagetian, or a neo-behaviorist. In
fact, he's not really a psychologist at all. I suppose he's quite close the
European Vygotsky: a pedologist with a very strong linguistic bent and a
Marxist background, attractive to left-wing teachers, repellent to
professors, and repugnant to the government (remember that the current
regime expelled the third largest opposition labor party from government,
dissolved it, and gave the leaders twelve year prison sentences....). As a
result I would say we have little or no impact on Korean scholars, and that
is probably the biggest difference between our Vygotsky and yours.

Andy Blunden kindly offered to publish English versions of our books on the
Marxists.org website, but he wants us to remove the annotations. To tell
you the truth, over half of our books are made up of annotations, because
without the annotations, our readers have a hard time studying him (as
"Thinking and Speech the Easy Way" attests--the first book only had
endnotes and not marginal annotations!) And people DO meet and study him:
one of our group is currently teaching Vygotsky to a regular class of
part-time "Paduk" teachers (that is, teachers of the Japanese game of "Go"!)

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 8:41 AM, <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:

> And David,
> Yes congratulations for all the work that you and your group have done
> translating Vygotskys works into Korean (how many books have you guys put
> out in Korean?).
> I was just wondering if you could share with us some of the crass
> appropriations that Koreans have made of Vygotsky?
> I assume that the uptake of Vygotsky isn't perfect in Korea (as if there
> were such a thing as "perfect understanding") and I assume that there are
> different things folks out there feel are important about Vygotskys work.
> Just wondering what those might be?
> (And although I know that the influence of American academic culture is
> substantial, I'd like to think that it isn't totally hegemonic, and I'll
> hold out hope that your answer isn't going to be "scaffolding", "micro
> genesis", and "psychological tool").
> I also wonder if there might be a richer uptake of Vygotsky there in Korea
> (this is partly evidenced by your prior mention of rather substantial
> numbers of sales of Vygotskys books in Korean).
> I also because I wonder if maybe Korean scholars could teach American
> scholars a thing or two about Vygotsky?
> Greg
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Apr 6, 2016, at 3:05 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hi David,
> >
> > Congratulations for the huge accomplishment! As Martin, I would also (as
> I guess many in this list) be VERY interested in reading the English
> intermediate drafts of this text.
> >
> > On a side note, I was wondering on the origin and history of the
> painting in the book's cover (apropos recent discussions on xmca on
> pictures and semiosis), if you wanted to share.
> >
> > Also, regarding ZPD and measurement in years, I wonder whether, in
> today's context, it would make sense to continue talking about measurement
> (or diagnosis) (not that I think Vygotsky's uptake in current literature is
> always acquainted with even the English translations, or with his larger
> project, but just trying to see what the gains/loses implicit in your
> complain).
> >
> > Alfredo
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> > Sent: 06 April 2016 23:28
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Agent, Range, and Beneficiary
> >
> > Hi David,
> >
> > I don’t have to time to take on a serious editing role, but as you know
> I’ve made good use of your English version of Thinking & Speech, and even
> sent back to you some suggested edits. I’m not using it in class now,
> because for better or worse there are Spanish translations. But it
> continues to be very helpful to my ongoing efforts to surpass the jargon
> and better understand Vygotsky.
> >
> > So if you might be willing to share your English intermediate drafts of
> this text, I would be very interested in reading them. My own understanding
> of children’s development has been much influenced by Vygotsky’s lectures,
> but as you note what’s available in English is very limited.
> >
> > Martin
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Apr 6, 2016, at 4:04 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Martin:
> >>
> >> A couple of years ago I asked on the list if anybody would be willing to
> >> edit the English version, and the silence was deafening. So we've just
> been
> >> publishing them in Korean.
> >>
> >> I now have an undergraduate helping to edit them for free and he's
> pretty
> >> good. The real problem is the publisher. I've approached a few
> publishers
> >> but nobody is seriously interested yet.
> >>
> >> Interesting, no? Considering how often people mine poor Vygotsky for
> >> jargon, often jargon that isn't even his but only a little gold dust
> seeded
> >> by some previous miner in the hope of jacking up the price of his claim
> >> ("scaffolding", "microgenesis", "psychological tool", etc.).
> >>
> >> Take, for example, the ZPD. When you read Vygotsky, it's measured in
> years.
> >> When your read anybody else, it isn't. Doesn't anybody ever wonder why?
> >>
> >> Well, the answer is right here--in Korean. Today our seventh volume is
> >> coming out. Here's the cover!
> >>
> >> dk
> >>
> >> On Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 1:19 AM, Martin John Packer <
> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Right, but my question was whether there is an English version of your
> >>> translation.
> >>>
> >>> Martin
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> On Apr 5, 2016, at 10:41 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Martin:
> >>>>
> >>>> No, we use the Russian. There isn't a German text for these lectures:
> >>> it's
> >>>> the 2001 "Lectures on Pedology" which has not been translated into any
> >>>> language. I think we're the first, and it's going to be into Korean.
> My
> >>>> Korean is still not publishable, so I use English, that's all. (My
> >>> English
> >>>> isn't really publishable either, but I found somebody who will edit it
> >>> for
> >>>> free.)
> >>>>
> >>>> It's true that Vygotsky uses German words when he first introduces the
> >>>> concepts: "Eigensinn" for wilfulness and "Trotz alter" for obstinacy.
> But
> >>>> he switches into Russian right away, and a lot of his examples are
> pure
> >>>> Russian (e.g. "Hu da!" for the critical threenager).
> >>>>
> >>>> In the second (2001, Korotaeva) lecture,  which he begins by referring
> >>> back
> >>>> to the unfinished work of the first (1984/1998 RCW/ECW) fragment,
> >>> Vygotsky
> >>>> delivers the goods: he really does describe what is new, consider the
> >>>> central and peripheral lines of development that leads to it, and give
> >>> the
> >>>> "zone of its proximal development"--that is, its relation to the NEXT
> >>> zone
> >>>> of development (measured in years and not in minutes as is the fashion
> >>>> amongst impatient Western scholars).
> >>>>
> >>>> This is the clearest example of critical periods as a "turning of the
> >>>> tables"--a moment when the child tries to become the SOURCE and not
> just
> >>>> the SITE of development, a moment when the child attempts to
> substitute
> >>> his
> >>>> own developing volition for the influence of the environment.
> >>>>
> >>>> Sorry--I got the title wrong last time. "Agent", "Range", and
> >>> "Beneficiary"
> >>>> are part of Halliday's ergative model, a model which is becoming
> >>>> increasingly important in English (and is already very important in
> >>>> languages like Chinese). It's a model which gives the "Medium" of a
> >>>> process equal importance with the "Process" which unfolds through the
> >>>> medium, and in that sense it's quite different from, but complementary
> >>> to,
> >>>> the kind of Subject-Verb-Object transitivity we see in most English
> >>>> grammars.
> >>>>
> >>>> Compare:
> >>>>
> >>>> "He shut the door." (Subject-Verb-Object)
> >>>> "The door shut". (Ergative)
> >>>> "She boiled the kettle." (Subject-Verb-Object)
> >>>> "The kettle boiled." (Ergative)
> >>>>
> >>>> Cooking verbs ("The stew boiled"), verbs for operating machinery ("The
> >>> car
> >>>> drives well"), and a wide range of scientific English ("Stalactites
> >>> form")
> >>>> are better analysed ergatively, but pain and disease can be analysed
> >>> either
> >>>> way:
> >>>>
> >>>> "I am battling cancer." (SVO)
> >>>> "The cancer metastasized." (Ergative)
> >>>> "I am having a bad reaction to chemotherapy." (SVO)
> >>>> "Chemotherapy really sucks." (Ergative)
> >>>>
> >>>> You can see that there are different theories of experience at work:
> one
> >>>> structure is good for emphasizing the role of man acting on an object
> in
> >>>> his environment (the "tool" relation which is placed at the centre of
> >>>> activity theory), while the other tends to work through the subject
> (the
> >>>> "internalization" relationship which Vygotsky himself emphasizes). One
> >>>> corresponds to the environmentalist, "brainwashing and torture"
> >>> explanation
> >>>> of why 21 Americans didn't return home after the Korean war, while the
> >>>> other is much more internal and insidious.
> >>>>
> >>>> Both are wrong of course, but that's the way with all these
> >>> nature/nurture
> >>>> explanations: the truth lies beyond both extremes, since neither
> nature
> >>> nor
> >>>> nurture nor even the two put together can ever give us free will.
> >>>>
> >>>> David Kellogg
> >>>> Macquarie University
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >> <Cover.pdf>
> >
> >