Re: [xmca] Fwd: social spaces

From: Jennifer Vadeboncoeur (
Date: Wed Feb 14 2007 - 17:20:19 PST

Hi Cathrene, thanks for your note. :)

Mike's comment is a "wake up" call: what I assume and the way I use
language to make sense of things is not necessarily the same as what
others assume and the way they use language. I am reminded of
discussions by Wertsch regarding the way that Vygotsky's ideas
challenge our common terms for things, and the need to add qualifiers
to signify a new or different meaning; situated cognition,
distributed cognition, assisted performance, situated learning. I am
constantly reminding my students, reminding myself as I do, that
common terms like learning, development, cognition, emotion,
knowledge, identity, are grounded in theoretical perspectives. So we
end up saying, "This is what I mean by cognition, not that
definition, this one." They get overwhelmed sometimes with the
different ways of conceptualizing these terms, me too, but I love the
idea that this "word play" is an avenue for thinking things
differently. I hope this is "true."

Best - jennifer

>Hi Jennifer and colleagues,
>Thanks for your eloquent definition of the term "social". I, too,
>embrace the multidimensional concept as being constituent of social,
>cultural, historical, mediated, semiotic, and embodied texts and
>M. Cathrene Connery, Ph.D.
>Assistant Professor of Bilingual & TESL Education
>Central Washington University
>>>> Jennifer Vadeboncoeur <> 2/13/2007 5:37
>PM >>>
>Yes, thanks for that query. In this piece we began with the physical
>and were writing/thinking through what other forms of "space" might
>look like. Space that is constituted by or produced in human
>activity, social practices, and discursive practices, for example,
>that would help us describe and explain our research.
>The concepts that are central to our work - social, cultural, and
>historical - are in my mind, though I have taken up and used "social
>practices" more than "cultural practices" or "historical practices,"
>perhaps out of force of habit. I see this tendency in Harvey,
>Lefebvre, and Soja's work - that is, to talk about the social moreso
>than the cultural, though in saying that, I pause, because Harvey, in
>particular, emphasizes the historical alongside the social production
>of space.
>So, when I read the term "social," as in "social construction of
>knowledge," I read it as a process that is at once social, cultural,
>and historical. I read it as mediated, semiotic, embodied. I
>appreciate your point; that others may not read it this way.
>Sociocultural, cultural historical, sociohistorical, cultural? How
>are other folks managing this?
>Best - jennifer
>>Hi Jennifer--
>>For those who have not gotten the article, you can start at the
>>url, then go to the journal and down on the right
>>hand side you will see the last article in the series. That is the one
>>spaces that Jennifer is referring to.
> >
> >Good luck hunting and reading!!
> >
> >Jennifer-- How come the term, culture, does not figure in your brief
> >summary?
> >mike
> >
> >On 2/12/07, Jennifer Vadeboncoeur <>
>>>>Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2007 14:04:29 -0800
>>>>From: Jennifer Vadeboncoeur <>
>>>>Subject: social spaces
>>>>Dear XMCA Folks,
>>>>Hope this note finds you well!
>>>>On Monday, Mike attached the piece entitled, Hirst, E. &
>>>>Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2006). Patrolling the borders of Otherness:
>>>>Dis/placed identity positions for teachers and students in schooled
>>>>spaces. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal,
>>>>13(3), 203-225.
>>>>I am mindful of busy schedules and not sure who may have gotten the
>>>>chance to read it yet, but I thought I would throw out a a bit of a
>>>>beginning piece and see if I can generate some discussion.
>>>>Hirst, at Griffith University in Brisbane, will contribute as she
> >>>can around her traveling schedule.
>>>>As I think about this piece, two interests of ours were: an
>>>>in understanding social space, as distinct from material or
>>>>space; and an interest in exploring the intersection between
>>>>government - federal and state - policy and the lives of teachers
>>>>and students. For example, if we attempt to work beyond the "space
>>>>as container" metaphor, how do we describe, define, exemplify
>>>>space? What constructs social space? How is it constituted? And
>>>>a research perspective, what sorts of data would need to be
>>>>to provide evidence of social space? Both theoretical and
>>> >methodological issues surface here and for the second area of
>>> >interest. In terms of links between policy and practice, how do
>>> >map across policy initiatives and what occurs at the level of the
>>>>school and/or the classroom? How do we link policy with the lives
>>>>young people outside of schools?
>>>>Just some thoughts here. As you think about this piece, what stands
>>>>out for you?
>>>>Best - jennifer
>>>>[Eliz, please jump in when you can, and add to the above, vibes for
>>> >safe travels!]
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