Re: [xmca] units of analysis,and Kenneth Burke

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Thu Feb 15 2007 - 10:23:09 PST


Great exerpt. The unending conversation does, indeed, seem to apply well to
xmca.
mike

On 2/14/07, Tony Whitson <twhitson@udel.edu> wrote:
>
> When I posted this, I forgot to mention what might be obvious to everyone:
> the aptness of the "unending conversation" vignette to xmca, itself!
>
> On Wed, 14 Feb 2007, Tony Whitson wrote:
>
> > On Unit of Analysis, Eugene has a paper that he might be able to share.
> > Eugene?
> >
> > On Burke I have a favorite three-page excerpt posted at
> > http://curricublog.org/2007/02/14/burke-conversation/
> >
> > It includes:
> >
> > Kenneth Burke writes
> >
> > =======
> > In equating "dramatic" with "dialectic," we automatically have also
> our
> > perspective for the analysis of history, which is a "dramatic" process,
> > involving dialectical oppositions. (p. 109)
> > =======
> >
> > We might consider how this also applies to the analysis of curriculum.
> Burke
> > writes:
> >
> > =======
> > Where does the drama get its materials? From the "unending
> conversation"
> > that is going on at the point in history when we are born. Imagine that
> you
> > enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long
> preceded
> > you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too
> heated for
> > them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the
> discussion
> > had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one
> present
> > is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You
> > listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of
> the
> > argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him;
> another
> > comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the
> > embarrass- [111] ment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon
> the
> > quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is
> interminable.
> > The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the
> discussion
> > still vigorously in progress.
> >
> > It is from this "unending conversation" (the vision at the basis of
> > Mead's work) that the materials of your drama arise.* Nor is this verbal
> > action all there is to it. For all these words are grounded in what
> > Malinowski would call "contexts of situation." And very important among
> these
> > "contexts of situation" are the kind of factors considered by Bentham,
> Marx,
> > and Veblen, the material interests (of private or class structure) that
> you
> > symbolically defend or [pp. 110-111; * footnote omitted]
> > =======
> >
> > The text and footnotes on those pages include important points on the
> > difference between positive and dialectical terms, as illustrated by the
> > historically contingent meaning of principles embedded in the U.S.
> > Constitution.
> >
> > On Tue, 13 Feb 2007, Mike Cole wrote:
> >
> >> Martin-- for your students-- and all--- for general consideration.
> >>
> >> This week my class is reading Wertsch's book on Mind as Action.
> >>
> >> In reading the book one issue has forcefully struck me that had already
> >> been
> >> gnawing at me. The word, consciousness, which
> >> is so important at the beginning and end of T&L does not appear in the
> >> index
> >> of the text. And while it may appear somewhere
> >> (I am now alerted!) it is not obvious so far. Rather, there is a remark
> on
> >> p. 12 that comes off of a an interesting discussion
> >> of Kenneth Burke (I am a big fan of Burke and dramatism approaches
> >> generall) that reads:
> >>
> >> The starting point of Burke's dramatistic method is that it takes human
> >> action as the basic phenomenon to be analyzed. This assumption
> >> provides the groundwork for building links between Burke and those of
> >> figures such as ..... vygtosky, wertch, zinchenko,, bakhtin, & mead.
> >>
> >> I know that your students have been focusing on the question of units
> of
> >> analysis and primal cells, Martin.
> >> I have been wanting to write something like, "The unit you choose
> >> depends
> >> upon the phenomenon you want to explain."
> >>
> >> Blah blah blah...... etc
> >>
> >> It seems to me that we need a very careful analysis of WHAT different
> >> family
> >> members in the chat/socicultural studies tradition want to explain.
> >> If they are trying to explain different things, then they need
> different
> >> units. But I do not know of a systematic description of what
> differerent
> >> members
> >> of the broad cultural-social-historical-activity approach believe
> >> themselves
> >> to be explaining.
> >>
> >> David--
> >>
> >> I guess I value etymologies more than you do. It is not that I disagree
> >> that
> >> people using a term, say, imagination, at present, do not have their
> >> own interpretations/meanings/senses. Sure. But rather, knowing the
> history
> >> (for me at least) often un-fossilizes the meanings/senses I have been
> >> making by opening up totally new possibilities for re-considering what
> >> Ithought I was talk about/through.
> >>
> >> the so-znanie/o-so-znanie contrast is useful in helping me unfossilize
> my
> >> understrandings. So is decomposing voobrazhenia (imagination)
> >> into into-image-making-- especially when it is a blind-deaf
> psychologist
> >> who
> >> pushes the issue.
> >>
> >> Or maybe I am just focused elsewhere.
> >>
> >> Que penses compadres?
> >> mike
> >> (mlk are my initials in russian, which tickles me, oddball that i am)
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> xmca mailing list
> >> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >>
> >
> > Tony Whitson
> > UD School of Education
> > NEWARK DE 19716
> >
> > twhitson@udel.edu
> > _______________________________
> >
> > "those who fail to reread
> > are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> > -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
>
> Tony Whitson
> UD School of Education
> NEWARK DE 19716
>
> twhitson@udel.edu
> _______________________________
>
> "those who fail to reread
> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>
>
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