RE: [xmca] Fwd: social spaces

From: Stetsenko, Anna (
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 10:26:47 PST

Mike, since no one has answered your question about the tricky 'o' in
'o-soznanie' , here is a brief comment.
The prefix 'O' has many meanings, just like many other prefixes do, dependning on their use (the meaning being not fixed indeed). In the case of 'o-soznanie' the 'o' is not related to the meaning as in 'about' or 'concerning' something which was your hypothesis -- though this is correct in many other cases. Rather, here it is connected to the meaning of 'into' or of 'bringing something about; bringing smth into being' -- somewhat similar to the English 'en' -- as in 'enactment', 'encroachment' etc. So, 'o-soznanie' bears the meaning of 'soznanie coming into being', similar to French 'prise de conscience' perhaps. O-soznanie is often translated as 'awareness' into English, and as is often the case, the translation is not exact with many deep theoretical issues lingering behind the surface of merely translating words.
Translation entails huge theoretical work of conceptualization; many pieces in Vygotsky are really translated in ways I cannot agree with, often with the meaning of the sentence being reversed into just its opposite -- quite unfortunately actually. No one's fault in particular, just the testament to the power, richness, uniqueness, complexity and fluidity of each and every language.


From: on behalf of Mike Cole
Sent: Thu 2/15/2007 3:45 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Fwd: social spaces

Yes, its a dilemma.... keep adding modifiers or keep it crisp and neat.

I guess I am sensitive to uses of the term, social, because in so many
I participate in it is taken as the antonym of biological.

On 2/14/07, Jennifer Vadeboncoeur <> wrote:
> 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
> >practices.
> >Cathrene
> >
> >M. Cathrene Connery, Ph.D.
> >Assistant Professor of Bilingual & TESL Education
> >Central Washington University
> >
> >>>> Jennifer Vadeboncoeur <> 2/13/2007 5:37
> >PM >>>
> >Mike!
> >
> >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
> >following
> >>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
> >on
> >>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 <>
> >wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2007 14:04:29 -0800
> >>>>To:
> >>>>From: Jennifer Vadeboncoeur <>
> >>>>Subject: social spaces
> >>>>Cc:
> >>>>Bcc:
> >>>>X-Attachments:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>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.
> >Elizabeth
> >>>>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
> >interest
> >>>>in understanding social space, as distinct from material or
> >physical
> >>>>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
> >social
> >>>>space? What constructs social space? How is it constituted? And
> >from
> >>>>a research perspective, what sorts of data would need to be
> >gathered
> >>>>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
> >we
> >>> >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
> >of
> >>>>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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> >
> >
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> >xmca mailing list
> >
> >
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