Re: [xmca] The article with the most votes for discussion is

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Wed Nov 26 2008 - 16:23:22 PST

Rats! I rushed through the whole issue last night with the express purpose of stumping in an informed and critical way for ONE article (Helena's on negotiating the conditions of work). Too late.
I don't want to sound like a sore loser (was I the ONE person on this list who voted for the far left in the US election?). But I would like to take note of the DANGERS of consistently choosing the most theoretically oriented and least empirical articles, which seems to me to be a fairly consistent tendency among xmca voters.
A LOT of articles devoted to reorienting or redefining or reintegrating CHAT (Sawchuk and Stetsenko not excluded) end up avoiding issues that are key for a lot of people on our list: how do I operationalize constructs? How do I recognize the operationalizations in the data? How do I analyze data for constructs that can't be clearly operationalized?
These are questions that are consistently addressed in Wolff-Michael's editorials. I think one of the effects of these editorials is to provide a kind of template for some of the best articles we've had in MCA: multi-part, multi-layered theoretical ruminations with data-illustrated illuminations.
I think Helena's article is one of these, and even one of the best of them (and that is saying quite a lot). Not only that, I think that the construct she is working with, that is the emotional, affective, evaluative, attitudinal tone or coloration of an activity, is one of those xmca problems that will live and live and live. After reading her piece, the affective colorations of the second grade Korean data I was analyzing fairly leaped off the page and took me by the throat.
I don't want to provide a spoiler (because Helena is a real artist, and her article builds suspense like the very best of Vygotsky's lectures). But as Helena points out, a lot of an artist's knowledge is in the hands and not the head.
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education


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Received on Wed Nov 26 16:25:11 2008

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