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[Xmca-l] Re: Communication, Co-generalization, and Crises



Where does 'co-generalization' come from, David? Perhaps a good carry over
from your consideration of political milieu is the factor of tension in
development: tension to foster attention, a socialised 'will' if you like.

Best,
Huw

On 7 November 2016 at 21:16, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> Well, of course, Peg is really right--or at least half right. That is, the
> American elections are not just a plebiscite on sexual assault, and using
> the term "sexual predator" reduces the whole thing to the kind of
> "tu quoques" argumentation which makes up the whole of the Republican case
> these days. Actually, for the first time in my memory, the American
> elections are about real issues that actually touch the lives of ordinary
> people, namely sexism, racism, and the impunity conferred by real fame and
> largely imaginary wealth.
>
> But I would like to know that the other half is also right: that is, that
> xmca's normal concerns with mind, culture, and activity do not require
> radio silence in times of crisis. Let me talk about another crisis and see.
> Unlike the USA, South Korea has had, since 1949, six different
> constitutions. Until very recently (1997) the peaceful transfer of power
> was the exception and not the rule: governments changed if and only if
> people took matters into their own hands, either through mass
> demonstrations or violent military coups or both (the one apparent
> exception was when the current president's father, Bak Jeonghi, was forced
> to call an election by the Nixon administration: on the verge of losing to
> Kim Daejeong, he peacefully overthrew himself instead).
>
> Now, Vygotsky also describes development in terms of six crises (Birth,
> One, Three, Seven, Thirteen and Seventeen) and five more or less stable
> periods of equilibrium (Infancy, Early Childhood, Preschool, School Age,
> Adolescence). In fact, the Zoped (assuming that "ped" means pedological and
> not pedagogical) really refers to the functions that belong to the NEXT
> zone of development and not the actual one: if a child can simply take over
> functions from the environment and make them his or her own, then almost by
> definition they are functions that belong to the zone of actual, and not
> the zone of proximal, development. That means that for every stable period,
> the Zoped is going to be a crisis (and of course that, along with
> prolepsis, accounts for the unpredictability of the Zoped which Peg noted).
>
> Korean crises not when people are overexploited and ruthlessly suppressed;
> that is a much better description of the stable periods in Korean history.
> Crises happen just when people become superproductive and try to
> self-emancipate. I think crises of development in the child also happen the
> same way: that is, during normal periods, the environment is communicating
> with the child and the child is taking over co-generalizations by
> restructuring them to fit the child's extant psychological system. But
> Vygotsky says that there are moments when this cannot happen, because the
> psychological system itself must be restructured: the central neoformation
> dissolves the social situation of development.
>
> During normal times, the environment is the source of development and the
> child's personality is only the site of development: but during these crazy
> crises (the crisis of "autonomous speech", the crisis of the negativistic
> "proto will", the crisis of the affected, manneristic, clownish
> "proto-self"), it is almost as if the child, superproductive and active,
> wants to "turn the tables", transforming the personality into the source of
> development and adapting the environment to it instead.
>
> One of the most puzzling things in Vygotsky's last lectures is the Central
> Line of Development. On the one hand, these are always forms
> of "communication" and "co-generalization". And on the other, because each
> Neoformation is entirely new, what is Central in one period is Peripheral
> in the next: perception, for example, is the maximally developing function
> in Infancy, but memory is the leading function in Preschool. Speech is a
> Central Line of Development in early childhood but Thinking in School Age.
> How can BOTH of these things be true?
>
> It seems to me that both of them are true.Communication represents contact
> with the social environment, and this is always foregrounded during stable
> periods and backgrounded during crises. Co-generalization represents what
> we use to call "internalization", and this is foregrounded during crises
> and backgrounded during stable periods. In addition, the content of the
> communication and co-generalization changes as the child develops, from
> doing things in Infancy, to saying things in Early Childhood, to feeling in
> Preschool, and to thinking in School Age. When co-generalization becomes
> super-productive, we get conscious awareness, and  with awareness, crisis.
> With crises, worlds change.
>
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
>
Status: O