Re: development: loss, destruction, transformation

From: Yrjö Engeström (
Date: Wed Mar 30 2005 - 01:47:48 PST

Mike and colleagues, attached is my paper:

Engeström, Y. (1996). Development as breaking away and opening up: A
challenge to Vygotsky and Piaget. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 55,

It is also included as Chapter 2 in my book

Engeström, Y. (2005). Developmental work research: Expanding activity
theory in practice. Berlin: Lehmanns.

The example in that paper is taken from Peter Hoeg's
semi-autobiographical novel Borderliners. I warmly recommend the novel
to everyone interested in breaking away and opening up.


Mike Cole kirjoittaa tiistaina, 29. maaliskuuta 2005, kello 23:37:

> Nice to have you back, Mary.
> Seems like we need to Yrjo's paper in front of everyone if we are
> going to make progress
> on this topic.
> Yrjo-- At the end of one of my notes on this topic I said that it
> would be good to have
> various people who took a "breaking away perspective" give examples.
> What are your
> favorite examples? Do you have a pdf version of the paper we can use
> for dicussion?
> mike
> On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:39:44 -0800, Mary Bryson <>
> wrote:
>> On 3/28/05 3:30 PM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:
>>> but if your kid did not learn to add or read, you might get unhappy.
>>> :-)
>> OK, time for me to chime in here... I was a participant in a day-long
>> participatory conference <Beyond Postmodernism> some time ago <it was
>> actually a Postmodernism Bashing carnival> and the whole group was
>> discussing the enormous significance of a scientific model for
>> "learning to
>> read" <back to, postmodernism bashing> and so I instigated a "break
>> away"
>> discursive intervention --
>> I suggested that the discussion on "learning" might more fruitfully
>> <ha ha>
>> intersect with some of the problematics of postmodernisms if instead
>> of
>> "learning to read" we were to discuss "learning to be queer" and how
>> that
>> might be facilitated and nurtured in educational contexts.
>> Oops
>> Oh dear
>> Talk about the abject -- yes, well --- someone tried being nice and
>> said
>> something like, "Don't you think it is partly genetic?" and then they
>> all
>> went back to talking about "learning to read".
>> Taking a genealogical approach to tracing the historical production of
>> "learning" there is so much that is pre-figured if the object of
>> analysis is
>> the repetition of an act where we assume consensus --- "learning to
>> read"
>> --- an activity that, in school, surely, is one of the means for the
>> production of a subjugated and disciplined body --- a tame
>> ventriloquist. I
>> would argue that if the "break away" is what we want to understand
>> then it
>> would be very useful to study the "ones that got away" -- the
>> contexts and
>> practices that produce diss-identification with culture's normative
>> trajectory.
>> Nice to be back,
>> Mary

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