Re: [xmca] Gone troppo in the tropics

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Mon Aug 29 2005 - 13:30:06 PDT


Hi Phil--
 Perhaps I misread, but I thought that in your lca& Bernstein note you
were raising the exotropic/endotropic distinction as a reason for people
on the list appearning not to be interested in Bernstein. You wrote:
 I just wonder whether some here may be a
little sensitive to this topic due to an orientation to more endotropic
theories, which are centred on more isolated objects of study?
 I found myself in agreement with Ruqaiya when I read her paper the first
time
(even if some of the terminology was new to me) and your comment puzzled
me. I tried to inquire about it. And to suggest an alternative issue --
nervousness
about the vertical dimension of development and questions it raises about
such
issues as cultural/social class differences in amount of/level of/ability to
deploy (etc)
cognitive resources.
 As I understand CHAT, its practitioners are taxed with a world view that
pushes one
to think about issues ordinarily focused on (endotropically?) in
Linguistics, sociology,
psychology, anthropology, evolutionary biology, political economy, etc. We
can't all
focus everywhere, but without an exotropic perspective how can one
understand, for
example, language acquisition, enculturation, and developmental change,
generally
speaking?
 If its just the two of us still interested, on to another topic!
mike

 On 8/29/05, Phil Chappell <philchappell@mac.com> wrote:
>
> Mike,
>
> I seem to have headed your response to Lars in a different direction -
> sorry for that. There was an arrogance in my message that surprised me,
> and was surely not my intention while using this (or any) medium and
> amongst the people here. LCA at work! My use of the terms exo- and
> endotropic came straight from Ruqaiya's works, as I've been reading
> several people's interpretations and applications of Bernstein's works
> recently and trying to work out how Bernstein's work can help me in my
> own work. I quote Hasan:
>
> "A theory must conceptualise its object of study as something that in
> Bernstein's terms is "weakly classified" -that is to say, the central
> problematic is not something enclosed within a sharply defined,
> impermaeable boundary which keeps the impurities and dangers of the
> outside world at bay; rather, the object of study is open to external
> phenomena, which though different in kind from it, still form the
> context for its existence and act as a resource for its subsistence.
> Seen thus, theories appear to approximate to two general kinds:
> endotropic and exotropic." (Hasan, R., 1999, Society, Language and the
> Mind, in Christie, F., Pedagogy and the Shaping of Consciousness,
> London: Continuum p. 12)
>
> Ruqaiya elaborates by using Chomskian linguistics as an example of an
> endotropic theory, and as we know from her paper that we discussed last
> month, she uses Vygotsky, Halliday and Bernstein's theories as examples
> of exotropic ones. Mike, your question of how these definitions might
> relate to chat and your comment that the the theories look to social
> origins is a view shared by Hasan, and certainly one that I also find
> appealing. Quoting Hasan again, as I'm concerned with the confusion I
> have created:
>
> "It is not that the exotropic theory is a theory of everything; rather
> it places its object of study in relation to phenomena which though
> relevant are by definition different in kind. Thus if the object of
> study is, say, human consciousness, then from the point of view of an
> exotropic theory the relevant phenomena could be human biology,
> including both evolution and development, which would implicate
> interaction with the environment thus leading to consideration of
> semiotic exchange, which in turn would implicate social relations among
> interactants, and so on... The necessary and sufficient condition for
> an exotropic theory's potential for meta-dialogism is met when its
> conceptual syntax is so developed that not only does the theory
> distinguish the different orders of relevant phenomena but it is also
> able to specify the nature of this relevance" (ibid pp. 13-14).
>
> Might this somehow segue back to Lars' question of a theory-free
> approach? Can others who know Latour's work jump in here and help us in
> this quagmire?
>
>
> Phil
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 28/08/2005, at 10:53 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>
> > Phil--- My note was intended to extend Lars' noticing of a different
> > way of thinking about horizontal/vertical dimensions
> > of change/development/human experience/etc. I had not been able to
> > assimilate the comments about Latour at the time
> > they were made, and since Latour is not a shared reading, was unsure
> > of how to respond. I am still unclear about the idea
> > of Latour being a-theoretical, but figure its my fault for not doing
> > the appropriate reading.
> >
> > Now there is something in your message that I did not understand--
> > the idea
> > of exotropic and endotropic theories and the possibility that there
> > is an
> > unrecognized fault line running between those who favor one over the
> > other.
> >
> > According to OED:
> >
> > e<image.tiff>xophora n. Gram., a mode of reference in which the
> > significance of a substitutional element or pro-form is determined by
> > situational knowledge on the part of the reader or listener; opp.
> > endophora n. s.v. *ENDO -.
> >
> > 1976 HALLIDAY & HASAN Cohesion in Eng. ii. 33 We shall find it
> > useful..to have a special term for situational reference. This we are
> > referring to as *exophora, or exophoric reference. 1984 Discourse
> > Processes VII. I. 58 The register characteristic of speakers sharing
> > many common assumptions conveys meaning contextually and is
> > characterized by a greater incidence of exophora; for example, Hand it
> > over, where the meaning of it is conveyed by a gesture
> >
> >
> >
> > endotropic.
> >
> > Chiefly of Mycorrhiza: nourished from within; growing within the
> > cells of plant roots. Opp. ECTOTROPHIC a.
> >
> > 1899 Ann. Bot. XIII. 7 The presence of an endotropic mycorhiza in
> > the roots of the Aplectrum would lessen the tendency to the formation
> > of an ectotropic layer with a second fungus
> >
> > With those definitions in hand, even using Halliday and Hasan as
> > source, might you explain how it relates to cultural historical
> > theories? Don't they look to the social orgins of higher
> > psychological function (exotrpic explanation?). Isn't development
> > seen as transformations over time that are not based on single
> > individuals?
> >
> > Color me confused here.
> > Note, interestingly, that Yrjo is beginning to use Mycorrhiza as a
> > way of conceiving of systems change. Unusual confluence.
> >
> > Harry Daniels' empirical work has provided what to my mind are very
> > useful contributions to understanding Bernstein AND relations of
> > the different scholars whose ideas we have been batting around.
> > mike
> >
> >
> > On 8/28/05, Phil Chappell <philchappell@mac.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Please see this link
> >> http://communication.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/xmcamail.2005_07.dir/0174.html
> >> for Lars' original post re: Basil Bernstein's paper on knowledge
> >> structures. The reply you talk about, I think, was mine, and it was
> >> less a reply than a personal response to the paper. I was hoping that
> >> others more tuned into Bernstein's work would field Lars' responses,
> >> since we are pushing the discipline boundaries here.Indeed as we
> >> have
> >> seen from Ruqaiya Hasan's papers and posts here over the past few
> >> weeks, she favours theories of an exotropic kind, which have a
> >> systemic
> >> and dynamic nature to them. I just wonder whether some here may be a
> >> little sensitive to this topic due to an orientation to more
> >> endotropic
> >> theories, which are centred on more isolated objects of study? I don't
> >> know, but I feel that mention of Bernstein here draws blanks, yawns or
> >> even contemptuous stares.
> >>
> >> Quoting Frances Christie 1999 ("Pedagogy and the Shaping of
> >> Consciousness"), "...how rarely social theories have usefully brought
> >> together insights from sociology and linguistic studies, though
> >> Bernstein, Cicourel and Grimshaw are theorists who have used actual
> >> speech data to develop their theories". And of course, Halliday is
> >> another.
> >>
> >> For me, I am challenged by the precision with which Bernstein locates
> >> knowledge structures, and the potential of Halliday's linguistic
> >> system
> >> to articulate the differences.
> >>
> >> I don't have the artistic ability, however, to represent my thinking
> >> through triangles!
> >>
> >> Now, back to Lars' point
> >>
> >> Lars wrote:
> >> My question is - when the paper conclusively points towards focusing
> >> on
> >> a
> >> problem instead of a theory as a solution to the issues of too many
> >> specified languages, is there not a discrepancy between the use of
> >> Latours
> >> notion of a theory-free approach and the notion of the sketched
> >> horizontal-vertical dichotomy?
> >>
> >> Lars Rossen
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On 27/08/2005, at 10:45 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
> >>
> >> > Dear Xmca-O-filoites.
> >> >
> >> > Yesterday a too and from plan trip afford me plenty of undisturbed
> >> > reading
> >> > time and I did what lars asked to do. Think about him.
> >> > In Lar's case (see July messages in the archive), here is what he
> >> had
> >> > to say
> >> > about reading Bernstein. He got a reply I have not
> >> > found, so this may be passe, but here is what Lars said and it
> >> > intersected
> >> > the thoughts I had had while reading.
> >> >
> >> > Lars wrote
> >> > :*******************************************
> >> >
> >> > When reading the Bernstein paper I had the feeling that the
> >> > descriptions of
> >> > vertical discourses would link to Latour's analysis of institutional
> >> > life
> >> > and their localized, emerging discourses and the connection is
> >> > indeed made
> >> >
> >> > in the end. However from my (somewhat fragmented and far from
> >> > qualified)
> >> > reading of both the researchers in focus, a question comes to mind:
> >> I
> >> > am
> >> > under the impression that Latour would claim that any and all
> >> > discourses,
> >> > theoretically specialized or not, would be horizontal, situated and
> >> > take the
> >> >
> >> > shape of enclaves and these enclaves will, through their research
> >> and
> >> > science production contribute to the language of science, reshaping
> >> the
> >> > general scientific language tools by participation and localized
> >> > negation
> >> > that spreads into the larger network of science workers.
> >> > Even though the language might be structured around established
> >> > cannons (as
> >> > science) it will quickly reshape under the influence of the language
> >> > users
> >> > (as research). As far as I understand the Latourian mindset, it can
> >> > not be a
> >> >
> >> > question of vertical vs. horizontal discourses, or putting one over
> >> the
> >> > other, since this would be in opposition to the idea of the network
> >> (or
> >> > work-net) where the discourse of everyday life and science and
> >> research
> >> > float back and forth within the enclave and between the nodes in the
> >> > net as
> >> > a larger set of enclaves.
> >> > Where the dichotomy of the two axis seems to imply that one has to
> >> > develop
> >> > from a lover state to a higher rise from the profane to the
> >> academic
> >> > - in
> >> > order to participate in the scientific discourse and that the
> >> > acquisition of
> >> >
> >> > the vertical languages equals a adaptation to a pre-set structure
> >> and
> >> > growth
> >> >
> >> > towards a given set of behaviors by learning the hind lying
> >> theoretic
> >> > frame
> >> > work, Latour seems to bring emphasis to the fact that knowledge
> >> > distribution
> >> >
> >> > and social development is a matter of circulated and indeed
> >> > non-hierarchical
> >> >
> >> > negotiations and refrains from giving any heed to theoretical
> >> > frameworks or
> >> > power structures that might be governing the network in question
> >> > meaning
> >> > specialized language becomes a tool among many others that can be
> >> > analyzed
> >> > alongside any other tool in play very much in line with the
> >> activity
> >> > theoretical understanding.
> >> >
> >> > My question is - when the paper conclusively points towards focusing
> >> > on a
> >> > problem instead of a theory as a solution to the issues of too many
> >> > specified languages, is there not a discrepancy between the use of
> >> > Latours
> >> > notion of a theory-free approach and the notion of the sketched
> >> > horizontal-vertical dichotomy?
> >> >
> >> > Lars Rossen wrote:
> >> >
> >> > Latour seems to bring emphasis to the fact that knowledge
> >> distribution
> >> > and social development is a matter of circulated and indeed
> >> > non-hierarchical
> >> >
> >> > negotiations and refrains from giving any heed to theoretical
> >> > frameworks or
> >> > power structures that might be governing the network in question
> >> > meaning
> >> > specialized language becomes a tool among many others that can be
> >> > analyzed
> >> > alongside any other tool in play very much in line with the
> >> activity
> >> > theoretical understanding.
> >> > ******************************************************************
> >> > This description of Latour vs Bernstein is a fascinating replay, in
> >> > post-modern
> >> > terms what Sylvia Scriner and I wrote about one of Bernstein's
> >> earlier
> >> > influential
> >> > volumes. But before reading the note, I was coming at it in terms of
> >> > the
> >> > Expanded
> >> > Triangle that serves as a germ cell for CHAT in relation to
> >> Bernstein.
> >> >
> >> > 1988 I wrote a paper about the historical convergence of
> >> > American-style,
> >> > context/activity
> >> > focused in anthrhopology, sociology, and psychology by scholars for
> >> > whom
> >> > fieldwork,
> >> > discourse analaysis, institutional analysis were the great and
> >> butter,
> >> > with
> >> > the German-Russian
> >> > approach which emphasized not-synchronic heterogeneity, but
> >> historical
> >> > (genetic) transformation.
> >> >
> >> > CHAT, although I had no name for it at the time, is analogous to the
> >> > historical and phylogenetic lines
> >> > converging in the language and al the semiotic means that are our
> >> > enviroment.
> >> >
> >> > In Seville I am going to talk about important points of uncertainty,
> >> > imprecision, and confusions of thinking
> >> > (I am thinking about myself here) accompahy the CHAT discourse
> >> along a
> >> > number of different important
> >> > dimensinos. Hierarchy is one of them. I found it interesting that
> >> > Bernstein,
> >> > whose sociological focus is
> >> > has often been about class, repersented the "hierachical knowledge
> >> > structure" as a triangle. Burke a
> >> > pentad, Yrjo the expanded triangle.
> >> >
> >> > In an article somewhere 30 years ago, Zaparozhets wrote about
> >> > development as
> >> > an increase in the range of
> >> > cutlural contexts/events/practices/etc a child could participate in.
> >> > The
> >> > idea is not absent from the cutlural-
> >> > historical theorists, rather, it has different ideological
> >> > significance.
> >> >
> >> > Adding Latour seems appropriate to me.Bernstein uses Bourdieu, a
> >> name
> >> > we
> >> > hear often in discussions that
> >> > link chat ideas to family members.
> >> >
> >> > I gather from Kris G with whom I shared a cab yesterday that an
> >> issue
> >> > perhaps not fully explored in this group concerns
> >> > the privileging of language over other cultural/semiotic means.For
> >> > another
> >> > discussion.
> >> >
> >> > Anyway, a good topic to consider on a list about current
> >> > accomplishments and
> >> > inadequcies of CHAT as a mode of
> >> > (scientific?) inquiry?
> >> > mike
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > xmca mailing list
> >> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> <<O^^^O>>
> >> Zero-tolerance virus detector enabled for incoming and outgoing mail
> >> ClamXav for Mac OSX
>
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