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Re: [xmca] Ethnomethodology and Hedegaard's Article

Thanks David. I think you (and Marianne) are correct about neoformations
being about crises, not development over time. Very helpful.

My own view is that fulfilling the program that Marianne lays out is a huge
undertaking. And it should be undertaken by people who can be
in it for several years-- longitudinally. An old guy like me is not a good
candidate for such an undertaking. But there must be several people on
this list who can.

Marianne. Two brief comments.

First, I was commenting on evidence in the interaction because the topic of
ethnomethodology and eviidence being IN the interaction was part of the
context of the discussion. In THAT context, using speculations about home
situations to explain observations is problematic.

I, too, tend to focus on the heterogeneity of SSD according to participation
in specific activities, but it is hard to find this in LSV or Elkonin,

Your paper got me thinking about the probability of the answer to
"local-general" is both.and not either.or

thanks for helping me along with my slow development!!

On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:44 AM, Mariane Hedegaard <
Mariane.Hedegaard@psy.ku.dk> wrote:

> Dear Mike
> From reading Vygotsky this is not possible to anwer directly, but I do not
> see any problems either against introducing the idea that children always
> particpate in more than one institution every day and also in several social
> settings, therefore I will understand a child's social situation of
> development as related to the child's individual experience  crossing
> institutions and social settings.
> This is the core of the reseach project I work on together with Marilyn
> Fleer, and we hope to have an article in MCA very soon from the project.
> With kind regards Mariane
> ________________________________
> Fra: Mike Cole [mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com]
> Sendt: ti 17-03-2009 19:02
> Til: Mariane Hedegaard
> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Emne: Re: [xmca] Ethnomethodology and Hedegaard's Article
> Thanks for additional comments, Marianne.
> Might you comment on the generality of SSD with respect to individual
> child's experience it? Is it general across institutions, participation
> structures, etc., or more
> bounded by institutions etc? Or both in some heterogeneous manner?
> The necessity off including both phylogenetic and cultural historical
> levels of analysis ("factors") I assume we all share. It is assumed even in
> standard textbooks such as
> you cite, but the other issues away clarification and empirical work.
> From a hiding place in the desert
> mike
> On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 3:36 AM, Mariane Hedegaard <
> Mariane.Hedegaard@psy.ku.dk> wrote:
>        Mike and also David comment on the example I have in the article.
> Mike points out that neither Jens nor Halime illustrate the process of
> development. I can agree on this but what the examples can illustrate is the
> importance of taking the society, the institutional perspective and the
> child's perspective into consideration, and also that conflict can indicate
> qualitative change in development, of course to see if the change happens
> one have to follow the children over time. Furthermore this is a theoretical
> article the examples are not from research that are made directly to support
> the article as data, but taken from research in other connection to support
> my theoretical argument. In the case of Jens it is a short extract from a
> longer observation. Interpretation has to be validated in a longer context.
> This was not my point here only the illustration.
>        Anyhow I think the case Jens can illustrate what is coming later in
> my article about Vygotsky idea of the social situation of development with
> crises, deconstruction of earlier competences and motives, but I agree that
> it cannot directly illustrate neo-formation. The problem is also how
> neo-formations should be understood. Is it function, consiousess, competence
> motives?
>        The example also implies that we have to look toward Vygotsky
> concepts of trajectory and the interaction between a biological trajectory
> and a cultural-historical trajectory that can be seen as relating to motives
> and competences as Elkonin point out in his theory (1971/1999). If we should
> talk about neo- formation in Jens's case it should be seen as neo- formation
> of motives. In Jens's cases conflict between expectations from different
> institutions can be seen as restructuring his motive orientation. I
>  conceptualised home as an institution as well as school.
>        The crises is in Vygotsky texts seen as a crises for the child (a
> phenomenological crises) and this is my interpretation of Jens that there is
> crises between being a small child with emotional closeness and a school
> child that can manage by himself.
>        This is an interpretation that only can be validated if this kind of
> interaction can be found in further observations. (The relation between
> family and the school as institutions creating conditions for children's
> development is further elaborated in Hedegaard, M. & Fleer, M. (2008).Family
> practices and how children are positioned as active agents.  In M. Fleer, M.
> Hedegaard & J. Tudge (Eds.), Constructing childhood: global-local policies
> and practices. World Yearbook 2009, Education and Policy. New York.
> Routledge. Taylor and Francis.
>        From David's discussion I understand that he look at Vygotsky's
> concept of neo-formation from primarily a cognitive point of view in
> relation to Vygotsky theory of concept formations (Vygotsky Volume 1). I
> suggest looking at Vygotsky volume 5, where he writes about youth's concept
> formations. Also Davydov have said many times Vygotsky did not have access
> to Iljenkov's theory of the relation between the concrete and specific in
> concept formation and his theory of concept formation are 'empirical'.
>        With the case of Halime I want tot illustrate how opposing
> institutional demands can be conflictual and delimits a person. If it does
> not leave the person any possibility to act according to what she is
> motivated for, and thereby influences hr development negatively.
>        Cheers Mariane
>        ________________________________
>        Fra: Mike Cole [mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com]
>        Sendt: ma 16-03-2009 01:25
>        Til: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>        Cc: Mariane Hedegaard
>        Emne: Re: [xmca] Ethnomethodology and Hedegaard's Article
>        David et al-- We have, as usual, and probably as necessary, at least
> two lines of discussion interweaving here. I want to pick up on Marianne's
> article which I have just re-read.
>        From the prior discussions of the article and my earlier memory of
> it, what most struck me is the way Marianne comes down on the social
> situation of development (SSD hereafter). This is an issue that David and I
> have discussed at length along with neoformation and crisis.
>        I take Marianne to be seeking, in part, to build upon Seth's paper
> using the later published/translated work of LSV to
>        re-visit general theories of child development. The "contextualist"
> perspective in Cole and Cole which combines a kind of "privileged
> domain/cultural context/practice perspective is lumped with other failed
> ways to look at child development, and it was written pre reading of the
> crisis/SSD/neoformation work, so it fails the test of a reasonable approach.
>        OK
>        I am perfectly happy to get past use of the very ambiguous term,
> context, which has now been heavily criticised by myself and many others (to
> my mind, most
>        notably by McDermott in the Chaiklin and Lave edited book from
> 1993). Container metaphors are bad medicine.
>        But Marianne appears, in her move, which I fully appreciate, to get
> into institutions, activities/practices, and agency of the child (often
> ommitted when people use contrain metaphors, making them sort of
> containerized dopes), takes SSDs to be local. The situation of the child
>        at school is not the situation at home. And the conflicts that arise
> between these situations, which in antiguity was known as the "cultural
> mismatch" approach in developmental/educational psychology), is important,
> generating, apparently, Jen's comments and behaviors.
>        LSV, so far as I can tell, was NOT talking about SSD's in this
> activity/practice contingent way. Rather, and this was reinforced by Elkonin
> later, he was talking about age-specific, experience-general, conditions
> that resultin development as  "changes in the whole personality."
>        (recall the Leontiev example of how, once he starts school, a little
> boy's SSD at home changes with his new status as a school goes, and by
> implication, so do all the situations the child finds itself in).
>        Rascism, on the other hand, appears to be a pretty general condition
> of Helima's (the Turkish girl's) SSD
>        over a long period of time. I believe that living in conditions of
> affluence or poverty also have this general quality.
>        One thing that left me hanging in Marianne's article was the absence
> of any evidence of development in the empirical examples. Jens? Helima?
> Conflict-yes. SSD's,
>        yes. Neoformations...... not clear to me.
>        As usual, I am left with more questions than answers. David wrote,
> in part:
>        The distinction between the pseudoconcept and the concept seems
> clear, critical, and qualitative to me: even though they are functionally
> identical, one is a concept for others and the other a concept for myself,
> so the distinction is really just like the distinction between a random
> gesture interpreted by Mommy as a pointing movement and a deliberate
> pointing movement on the part of the child. Perhaps the "limiting" of the
> pseudoconcept comes from outside the child? So the "baby whale" is the
> beginning of a pseudoconcept?
>        I find very interesting the idea that pseudoconcepts is for myself
> and real concepts are for others. In what sense does this make them
> "functionally equivalent"? Functional for who/what? Is what you mean, David,
> that they are functionally equivalent in that they allow the conversation to
> go on as if each person thought they understood what the was saying? And
> what does "limiting" of the pseudoconcept mean? Does it meant that because
> the word or gesture functions "as-if" equivalent for self and other, the
> (more powerful/knowledgeable other) "tricks"
>        (unknowingly) the younger, less developed partner into thinking he
> understands when he does not?
>        I also was discomforted by the amount of interpretation that goes
> into the Jens example. So far as I can tell, we not only do not have
> information in the interaction for Marianne's interpretation of why Jens is
> doing/saying what he is, we do not have direct evidence from anywhere. All
> we have is plausible supposition.
>        Sure am glad I have gotten out of the textbook business with only my
> name, like the smile on the Chesire cat's face, left behind. Books are passe
> anyway. I prefer this
>        discussion, heterogenous and incomplete as it is. At least we are
> saved the need to answer each others' "easy, medium, and difficult" multiple
> choice questions to be allosw to continued participating.
>        mike
>        On Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 4:31 PM, David Kellogg <
> vaughndogblack@yahoo.com> wrote:
>               Martin and others:
>               I have only read the basics in ethnomethodology (Garfinkel,
> Sacks) but I know conversation analysis a bit better, because it's been
> used, notably by Seedhouse, to try to get some of the social situation of
> development back into the analysis of classroom discourse.
>               David Kirshner and I recently wrote a piece on Vygotsky,
> complexity and "dyadic interaction" in which ethnomethodological
> conversation analysis was one of the ways we can avoid a downwardly
> reductionist view of interaction, the sort of thing on offer from
> chaos-complexity theory these days, and an upwardly reductionist one, the
> sort of thing on offer from critical discourse analysis.
> http://www.complexityandeducation.ualberta.ca/COMPLICITY6/documents/Complicity_6_1_07_Kirshner_Kellogg_response_to_Jorg.pdf
>               But re-reading what we wrote in the light of Mariane
> Hedegaard's article, I'm a little unconvinced by the "middle way" that
> Kirshner and Kellogg put forward. First of all, as Ed Wall points out, it
> DOES involve coding, of a rather formalistic kind ("adjacency pairs" and
> "first pair part" and "second pair part" and so on). Secondly, as we all
> know, conversation analysis eschews any interpretative mechanisms that are
> not actually visible in the transcripts, arguing that the interactants are
> not "dopes" but participants, and what they do is not submit to but rather
> but rather negotiate the terms of the interaction.
>               The problem is that in a very important sense Jens really is
> a dope. Two problems come up in the data that suggest this. The first is
> when he argues that the pedagogue should be worried because his father will
> not like her behavior. The second is when he suggests that a baby whale
> doesn't look like a baby. In neither case does his version of events form a
> significant part of a negotiated solution.
>               Suppose that what we have here is the kind of complexive
> thinking that Vygotsky describes in Chapter Five. Jens has a purely
> concrete, graphic-visual understanding of adult behavior; anything that
> doesn't go with what Daddy does is somehow non-adult. Ditto his
> understanding of the word "baby"; if it doesn't look like baby or squawk
> like a baby, it's not a baby.
>               Of course, as Vygotsky says, this kind of complexive thinking
> will EVENTUALLY become functionally equivalent to thinking in concepts. But
> LSV is a little unclear on exactly how this happens. First of all, his
> sequence of complexes (associative, collection-complex, chain, diffuse,
> pseudoconcept) is not obviously sequential; it's not too clear how each one
> arises on the basis of the last one, as he himself admits on p. 229 (of the
> Minick version, Vol. One in the Collected Works).
>               Secondly, on p. 156, he suddenly introduces a SECOND root of
> thinking in concepts, namely the "potential concepts" that Paula raised at
> the beginning of our "Strange Situation" discussion. He says this
> constitutes a "third stage" in the child's thinking, although that means
> that there will be FOUR stages and on p. 134 he gave three as the number.
>               But in the next section, 17, on pp. 157-158 it's not a third
> stage, or even a stage of child thinking at all, but something we share with
> animals, even chickens. Although he uses phrases like "completely justified"
> and "fully justified", by the end of this section (p. 165) he is excoriating
> poor Buhler for ignoring the role of the word in concept formation (165).
>               Are there three stages, or four? Are potential concepts
> shared with animals or not? Paula, Steve, and I have been scratching our
> heads over this for some months now.
>               Perhaps these "potential concepts" and Vygotsky's whole
> "third stage" are simply a McGuffin...a character with a walk-on role, or
> one of those scenes in an Alfred Hitchcock movie where a phone rings in a
> deserted room for no particular reason. That happens quite a bit in
> discourse. Now, adults are capable of sorting this stuff out and negotiating
> what is signal and what is noise. But Jens?
>               There's a lot to figure out in Chapter Five--ideas that are
> not revisited in any way in Chapter Six, except in the criticism at the end.
> For example, the distinction between the diffuse complex and the
> pseudoconcept is that one is bounded and limited--but by what? If it is
> bounded by the selection of a particular abstract trait, isn't that trait a
> concept?
>               The distinction between the pseudoconcept and the concept
> seems clear, critical, and qualitative to me: even though they are
> functionally identical, one is a concept for others and the other a concept
> for myself, so the distinction is really just like the distinction between a
> random gesture interpreted by Mommy as a pointing movement and a deliberate
> pointing movement on the part of the child. Perhaps the "limiting" of the
> pseudoconcept comes from outside the child? So the "baby whale" is the
> beginning of a pseudoconcept?
>               David Kellogg
>               Seoul National University of Education
>               _______________________________________________
>               xmca mailing list
>               xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>               http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
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