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[Xmca-l] Re: Play and performance Article for discussion

I have always held the view that asking the question of
whether or not something is a social movement is a waste of
time and a distraction. Social movements are one of the
phases through which ideas pass, along with social problems,
institutions, organisations, moral panics, ideas, cultures,
states and sundry other ideal forms which pass one into
another in the course of their passage through human life.
In the academy, each of these social forms is owned by a
different discipline and belongs in different departments
and publishes in different journals, etc., etc. -
distinctions manufactured and imposed by the dominant
structures of our capitalist society.


Andy Blunden
On 21/09/2017 2:33 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
> I'm studying Gramsci's Prison Notebooks right now, for three reasons. The
> first is that, like a lot of people on this list, I've only ever read the
> "Selections" version, and when I am stuck in a line in the supermarket or a
> find myself spending too much time in the gym, I feel the need to read the
> whole thing in detail. The second is Halliday: the "philological method"
> Gramsci uses and the "historical" historical materialism--with the accent
> on historical rather than on materialism--is clearly a big influence in
> Halliday's work. But the third is that I think that the task of
> reconstructing Vygotsky's pedological work is a little similar to the task
> that scholars faced when they tried to make sense out of the notebooks, and
> I think the payoff will be--if anything--greater.
> Gramsci rejects the "sociologism" of Bukharin. He doesn't reject sociology;
> he just thinks that it plays a supporting role in a social movement. Why?
> Well, because it's a generalization, and social movements have to be
> concerned with the specificity of particular social facts as well as with
> general sociological patterns. I think the tendency in a lot of work is to
> present a vignette (like Carrie's opening vignette) and then try to discuss
> it in terms of general laws. But Gramsci says that in a social movement,
> things have to be the other way around: we present general social laws, and
> we criticize them in view of specific historical facts. (The editor of the
> Complete Notebooks remarks that attempts to produce a "Crocean Gramsci" or
> a "Leninist Gramsci" are essentially sociologistic, and he demands we read
> the Complete Notebooks philologically, with due attention to the
> specificity of each fragment, for precisely this reason!)
> So another important remark that Mike made Skypily in Quebec was that ISCAR
> itself is a social movement, and one way to test our theories out is, like
> doctors, to inject them into ourselves and see if we drop dead. I am not
> entirely sure that ISCAR is a social movement (and I'm not sure that what
> Carrie is describing in her paper is a social movement either); it seems to
> me that one reason why ISCAR is losing members is precisely that it is not
> moving fast enough towards a discernible object outside itself. I don't
> think that ISCAR is going to drop dead (although we saw some very pretty
> symptoms of this in the Australasian section meeting). But I do think that
> an organization that concentrates only on expanding itself is not a social
> movement, and is probably in danger of succeeding.
> David Kellogg
> On Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 8:57 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> Hi Alfredo --
>> No, I just jotted down some notes from two opportunities to go through the
>> slides Yrjo showed. As David said, I remarked on my concern about a
>> theoretical focus that did not encompass social movements that the members
>> of ISCAR are likely to oppose strongly, current resurrgence of publicly
>> accepted rascism/fascism in the US being one of them.
>> I also commented on the problem facing young researchers coming into the
>> field and thinking about conducting intervention research that is at the
>> same time part of a social movement. It seems clear from my experience and
>> that of my colleagues who engage in design-based research in the CHAT
>> framework that such projects are the work of many years, in my case,
>> decades. How do young people coming into the field "make a mark" for
>> themselves when they are of necessity a part of a collective that extends
>> over many years?
>> I also raised an issue that I raised in the brief exchange with Zlatko
>> about his work on models of management. The theoretical terms in which
>> various different people are describing the process of learning and
>> development whether talking about children or institutions or social
>> movements appears to be distinctly similar in their basic properties. It
>> felt like I was hearing echoes from Zlatko and Yrjo of something like Heinz
>> Werner's "orthogenetic principle" :  "wherever development occurs it
>> proceeds from a state of relative globality and lack of differentiation to
>> a state of increasing differentiation, articulation, and hierarchic
>> integration."
>> David mentioned the first part of this process the other day in a comment
>> about development being differentiation.
>> Anyway, my brief take. It was not much of a communicative event from my
>> perspective. Missed being there to discuss!
>> mike
>> PS -Its at a time like this that you miss old friends. Joe Glick was my go
>> to guy for discussions of Werner.
>> On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 10:26 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>> wrote:
>>> David, interesting remarks.
>>>  I also thought Engeström's keynote was keeling bit too much on the
>>> technical side for being the venue and occasion it was, even for one like
>>> me who thinks that the analyses and cases he presented are really
>>> interesting and relevant.
>>> Mike, any chance you have some notes to share from your remarks following
>>> Yrjö's keynote?
>>> Alfredo
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>> on behalf of molly shea <mvshea@gmail.com>
>>> Sent: 19 September 2017 02:21
>>> To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Play and performance Article for discussion
>>> I would also like to see the presentation and remarks if it is recorded
>> and
>>> someone is able to share them.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Molly
>>> On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 6:13 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>> Is there any way Mike's Skype talk and the other
>>>> contributions can be shared by slackers like us didn't go to
>>>> Quebec?
>>>> Andy
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
>>>> On 18/09/2017 8:48 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>> In Mike's Skyped remarks in Quebec on Yrjö Engeström’s presentation
>> on
>>>>> social movements, Mike made the important point that it is not simply
>>>>> progressive movements which require study. From education studies we
>>> know
>>>>> that studying a phenomenon isn't necessarily a good way to promote
>> it;
>>>> the
>>>>> two aims can be quite contradictory, in fact. So in many ways it's
>>>> probably
>>>>> more urgent to study reactionary and dangerous social movements, and
>>> when
>>>>> we do this, we sometimes find that the process of analysis and study
>>>> really
>>>>> does lead to a useful social movement (and that such social movements
>>> are
>>>>> more likely to be underpinned by the "breaking away" of Engeström's
>>>> earlier
>>>>> work than the material "ratchet" of his Quebec presentation).
>>>>> I was thinking of this remark in the light of three social movements:
>>>>> a) The mass strike currently sweeping Korean textile companies
>>> operating
>>>> in
>>>>> Vietnam.
>>>>> b) The demonstrations in Saint Louis against the police murder of
>>> Anthony
>>>>> Lamar Smith in 2011.
>>>>> c) Carrie Lobman's paper on taking the performance art of Newark kids
>>> to
>>>>> the boardrooms of New York bankers.
>>>>> I think a) and b) are indisputably instances of progressive social
>>>>> movements that have their immediate roots in fact-finding about
>>>> reactionary
>>>>> and dangerous social movements (Korean investment in Vietnam, and the
>>>>> increasing militarization of the US police force). But I find myself
>> a
>>>>> little perplexed by c).
>>>>> I think Carrie is too, actually: in the beginning part of the paper,
>>> she
>>>>> presents her protagonists as country bumpkins somewhat out of their
>>> depth
>>>>> in the boardrooms, while in the second part it transpires that it is
>>> the
>>>>> bankers that are there to learn from the social movement of young
>>> actors
>>>>> rather than vice versa.
>>>>> I can see treating bankers as a social movement--a reactionary and
>>>>> dangerous one which directly profits from the kinds of inequality
>> that
>>>> are
>>>>> the object of social movements a) and b). But if we are playing
>> "Crazy
>>>>> Eights" with bankers, treating ourselves as human beings like
>>> themselves,
>>>>> wouldn't it be better to visit their homes rather than their
>>> boardrooms?
>>>>> (Note that some of the most effective demonstrations in Saint
>> Lous--not
>>>>> necessarily the most violent, but certainly the most effective--have
>>> had
>>>> to
>>>>> do with laying siege to the home of the mayor!)
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> On Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 5:53 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <
>>> a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>>> Issue 3 of Mind, Culture and Activity has been out for a while now
>> and
>>>> it
>>>>>> is time to have one of the articles discussed here at xmca. We have
>>>>>> selected one that deals with a topic that interests me a lot and I
>> am
>>>>>> confident will be interesting to many: the role of play and
>>> performance
>>>> in
>>>>>> personal development and social change.
>>>>>> Carrie's paper starts with a beautiful vignette from a workshop
>>> bringing
>>>>>> youth from poor communities together with business people to jointly
>>>> play
>>>>>> and perform. The next section ?abruptly brings us back to Vygotsky's
>>>>>> writings about play, ?and these then serve as the backdrop to a
>>> revisit
>>>> to
>>>>>> the opening workshop. The analyses and the discussion invite us to
>>>>>> understand development "not as a set of stages that a people pass
>>>> through
>>>>>> on their way to adulthood, but as the collective creation of stages
>>>>>> (environments) where people can perform who they are becoming."
>>>>>> Carrie has been kind enough to accept joining us in the discussion,
>>> and
>>>>>> she will introduce her article much better in a few days, while we
>> all
>>>> get
>>>>>> the time to read and bring up any questions or comments we might
>> have.
>>>> I am
>>>>>> sending this early, though, ?to give people a few days in advance to
>>> be
>>>>>> able to start looking at the article, which I hope will catch the
>>>> interest
>>>>>> of many. Good read! And good weekend,
>>>>>> Alfredo