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

Rod, Larry, Rein, et al--

I, like Rein, worry about the cup metaphor. I was writing quickly and using
the cup as only one example. In some ways an unfortunate example, The
spilled liquid could be absorbed by a table cloth, fall through slats in
the floor, etc. Contained, managed .....
The cup metaphor is used widely in connection with the term, context, which
Ray McDermott criticized effectively back about 1993 in the Chaiklin/Lave
book on activity and practice.

I would like to suggest an additional way to think about solidity. In terms
of the time scale of change.

I often give the example of a table. A table seems like a good candidate
for a solid object. In discussing this in class, I sometimes slam my hand
unexpectdly again the desk of podium and everyone jumps while i have to
nurse my hand which is red and it stings.

That table sure seems solid to me and to the audience as well.

But the table is only solid relative to another object, in this case me. It
is changing on a very different time scale, constituted as it is of wood,
formica, and a bit of metal. Come back in a thousand years and all that
will be left of that table, if that much, will be the metal parts, even if
the table is not recycled by human beings and global warming or war does
not de-compose the table along the way.

 The issue of scale is beautifully illustrated in "Powers of Ten," a
ten-minute film on line if you enter the title. Starting with a scale that
encompasses two people lying on a blanket along the lake shore in Chicago
and goes out ten powers, and then rapidly reverses and goes powers of ten
micro into the constituents of matter. Perceptually, what is solid and what
is empty space changes dynamically as one moves along the scales.

Hopefully useful.

On Sat, Aug 6, 2016 at 10:04 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Thanks for forwarding, Peg et al.
> mike
> On Sat, Aug 6, 2016 at 9:14 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:
>> down.cenet.org.cn/upfile/19/20064111162198.pdf  but it downloads the
>> whole 390 + pagebook
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman
>> .ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
>> Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2016 11:22 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Solids and Liquids/Entities and dynamic flows
>> My apologies for not appending the reference. For some reason part of my
>> message disappeared, the ref included. Odd wanderings of fingers not under
>> proper control. I only have this book in hard copy. If anyone has it in a
>> pdf, please send to the group.
>> If nothing turns up in the next day or so I will scan the chapter and
>> post it. I do not love all that it has to say, but it seems worthwhile for
>> those interested in the issues.
>> mike
>> Adams, G., & Markus, H.R., (2003). Toward a conception of culture
>> suitable for a social psychology of culture. In, M. Schaller, M., & C.S.
>> Crandall (Eds.). *The Psychological Foundations of Culture. Erlbaum.
>> Mahwah, NJ. pp.
>> 335-360.*
>> On Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 11:58 PM, Rod Parker-Rees <
>> R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> 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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>> --
>> 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


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