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[Xmca-l] Re: Solids and Liquids/Entities and dynamic flows



For a ong time I have thought of culture as liquid with people providing 
the cup. Through everyday actions and responses to changing 
circumstances, and through the spark of creativity that most of us still 
have (despite the efforts of modern educational policy o wring it out of 
us), we make the trappings of culture, whch are liquid. And then we try 
as hard as we can to solidify the liquid. I take some of my ideas on 
this from Tajfel's work on the formation of in groups and out groups, 
and particularly his ideas of the fundamental human acctivities of 
categorisation and assimilation.

Rob

On 06/08/2016 07:58, Rod Parker-Rees wrote:
> Many thanks for this, Mike.
>
> I too would love to read this article. I am particularly interested in the way many cultures (some more than others) tend to nail down flows and processes by turning verbs into nouns. While there is a developmental model which emphasises flow and change there are others which aim to halt or dam the flow by identifying stages (like locks along a river?) which can be thought about more as things. And there are versions of social psychology which focus more on relationships, interactions and intersubjectivity.
>
> I think there is something about the necessary abstractness of concepts (which have to be sufficiently pulled out from specific contexts to allow them to be shared) that draws them towards reification, turning a flow into a thing (the river, the flow!). But in our lived experience the past runs into the present and the future also shapes the flow. I think the idea of perezhivanie catches this idea of a reciprocity between our past social experiences and the way we make sense of what flows our way.
>
> Sorry if this seems vague and fluid!
>
> All the best,
>
> Rod
>
> On 6 Aug 2016 1:23 am, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> I stumbled over an article on the "the psychological foundations of
> culture" with a summary/discussion article by Adams and Markus. (ref
> below). The authors contrast two prominent definitions/theories of culture
> prominent in the literature on the relationship between culture and human
> psychological processes. The characterization struck me forcefully as an
> example of Bauman's solid-liquid distinction in a different discourse
> stream, providing food for thought on the topic of mind, culture, and
> activity.
>
>
>
> One approach is closely related to developmental approaches such as my own,
> Barbara Rogoff, Patricia Greenfield, Mike Tomasello). It traces its origins
> to ploughshares and agriculture, the process of making things grow,
> nurturing. a process transpiring over time. The other (Social Psychology)
> adopts "the customary beliefs, social forms, of a racial, religious, or
> social group."
>
>
>
> The first, developmental approach is said to view "culture as dynamic
> process or flowing medium" while the second, social psychology view is
> described as an "entity conception of culture." The entity conception
> "implies a conception of culture as a relatively 'fixed' system of
> "customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits." It also associates
> this system with readily identifiable 'racial, religious, or social group."
>
>
>
> The authors then list "several undesireable consequences" of adopting the
> entity point of view. I found these very interesting. I will just list
> them. If there is sufficient interest I can get a scan of the chapter made.
>
>
>
> Stereotyping
>
> Homogenizing
>
> Essentializing
>
> Reifying
>
>
>
> There is, unfortunately, no similar list for the liquid, developmental,
> perspective. Liquids, Bauman remind us can spill and spoil the rug and need
> to be contained. They flow, to be sure, but that flow is constrained by a
> cup.
>
>
>
> The authors adopt a view they call "culture as patterns."
>
>
>
> The juxtaposition of these readings and the ongoing discussion of the 11 ox
> paintings has induced me to think again about long standing ideas. Always
> enlightening. Thanks.
>
>
> mike
>
> --
>
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> ________________________________
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