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Re: [xmca] Communication/social relations/obshenie

I think that what makes issues of definition simultaneously so difficult
an"d so thought provoking in the cross-linguistic cases we have been talking
about, Jay, is that we have
both sympathy for the ideas-as-translated which has been a (somewhat) common
source of our ideas AND that what you refer to as "theory" or Discourse is a
whole world view with a long history.

At least I am knocked over repeatedly by the new perspectives on
"fossilized" ideas I have by these encounters.

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 8:02 PM, Jay Lemke <jaylemke@umich.edu> wrote:

> I am backtracking through recent topics on the list as I play catch-up.
> It might be worth noting in regard to a number of recent discussions about
> un-translatability and cross-language terminology, that (a) words don't
> really work according to our folk-theory that they can be individually
> "defined", or translated; (b) meanings get made with systems of interlinked
> words, which form somewhat more stable "sets" (what I've called thematic
> systems or thematic formations); and (c) to define the meanings and
> relationships among the terms in such a set, you generally need to explicate
> the whole "theory" or Discourse (ala Gee) in which they function. You then
> get the sense of each of the terms as part of this larger discourse whole.
> You can translate essays, and maybe even paragraphs, but certainly not
> words.
> JAY.
> PS. Mathematics and science have been trying to force language to fit our
> folk-theory of how it should work, with for example, stable definitions of
> individual terms, but for the most part have failed (esp. in science when
> dealing with concepts), and only in some areas of pure, abstract mathematics
> may have partly succeeded, though I still have my doubts. I think one can
> learn, as a member of a specialist community, to read and interpret "as if"
> bottom-up from the individual terms and definitions, but only because of
> being immersed in a culture which enables one to background the inevitable
> "backstory" which meaning requires.
> Jay Lemke
> Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
> Educational Studies
> University of Michigan
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
> Visiting Scholar
> Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication
> University of California -- San Diego
> La Jolla, CA
> USA 92093
> On Nov 22, 2009, at 4:22 PM, mike cole wrote:
>  obuchenie without obshchenie is a little difficult to imagine, helen.
>> communication devoid of affect seems to offer a similar set of problems.
>> Again, in every case of "definition" we have (a largely unexplicated,
>> because you can never say everything about anything) a large,
>> pre-supposed set of theoretical assumptions about the processes being
>> defined.
>> What makes discussion of these cases always (potentially) useful
>> is that different ways of defining/interpreting provide glimpses of the
>> theoretical field which provides the lens through which we and our
>> interlocutors are interpreting/delimiting the processes of (potentially!)
>> common interest.
>> mike
>> (PS-- My spelling and typing are no better in transliterated Russian than
>> in
>> English)  :-((
>> On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 3:09 PM, Helen Grimmett <
>> helen.grimmett@education.monash.edu.au> wrote:
>>  A group from my university attended the Vygotsky/Golden Key Summer
>>> School earlier in the year and returned home all talking about the
>>> importance of obshchenie (this is the spelling we have been using -
>>> funny that it is a cross between Mike and Katrina's). While they said
>>> that Elena Kravtsova translated it as 'social communication' she also
>>> made it clear that this was not really an adequate translation for
>>> capturing the true expansive meaning of the word.
>>> In reference to my earlier message, pasted below, I'm wondering whether
>>> it is actually 'obshchenie' that is the unique property of 'obuchenie'
>>> (teaching/learning)? - i.e. it is all about the special social/emotional
>>> relationships between and among teachers and learners in the joint
>>> activity of obuchenie that make the difference.
>>> Perhaps some Russian speakers can help further?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Helen.
>>> Earlier message: Helen wrote....
>>> I am currently attempting to use obuchenie as a central
>>> concept in my PhD research, arguing that perhaps using a 'new' word with
>>> teachers makes it easier for them to think about teaching and learning
>>> in a new way (as a conjoint practice that both teachers and learners
>>> engage in together).
>>> I have argued that it is difficult to assign new conceptualisations to
>>> existing terms we have traditionally conceptualised in different ways
>>> and that perhaps using teaching/learning still provides an image of
>>> simply bringing together the two contradictory practices of teaching and
>>> learning (as understood in their old way) rather than helping teachers
>>> think about it in a new way as a dialectical unity which has its own
>>> unique properties (more than the sum of its parts).
>>> I then go on in my proposal for confirmation of candidature paper to
>>> spend nearly 6000 words trying to explain what the unique properties of
>>> obuchenie are. In a nutshell I talk about the ZPD (although taking a
>>> holistic approach to development recognising the importance of the
>>> affective dimension alongside the more typical cognitive approach);
>>> intersubjectivity and perezhivanie; authentic meaning and motives for
>>> participating in the activity; and recognising that all of this occurs
>>> within a particular cultural-historical context that both determines and
>>> is determined by the interactions of the participants.
>>> I would be interested to hear what others think are the unique qualities
>>> of obuchenie and why/whether translations as even teaching/learning or
>>> teaching-learning may be inadequate for generating new understandings
>>> amongst teachers.
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: Katarina Rodina <katja@student.uv.uio.no>
>>> Date: Monday, November 23, 2009 4:30 am
>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Communication/social relations/obshenie
>>> To: lchcmike@gmail.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>>> <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>  The problem with terminology is a tricky one. The understanding of
>>>> terminology in Russian Psychology as "communication", "social
>>>> interaction"and "Obchenie" is far from being straightforward.
>>>> I've tried to investigate the problem of  communication (obchenie) in
>>>> Vygotsky's, Leontiev's and so-called neo-Vygotskian research (see
>>>> belowRodina (2006)) .
>>>> The problem of communication as a social relation (rus. obchenie,
>>>> German"Verkehr") is highlighted in the works of A.N. Leontiev,
>>>> Zaporozhets and
>>>> M. Lisina, i.e. the concept of early ontogeny of communication
>>>> (obchenie)as a communicative activity (not speech activity as an
>>>> object of study as
>>>> in psycholinguistics). Lisina's theory of early emotional
>>>> communication/obchenia as a Leading Acitivity has much in common with
>>>> Trevarthen's concept of early inter-subjective communication and
>>>> socio-emotional development in early ontogeny. Bodrova & Leong
>>>> (1996: 51)
>>>> could also be mentioned as a contemporary variant of Elkonin's and
>>>> Lisina's psychological concept of early emotional
>>>> communication/obcheniawith Tronick`s (1989) "interactional synchrony".
>>>> Lisina's understanding of communication/obchenia as a psychological
>>>> category was based on Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory of
>>>> developmentof HMF and Leontiev's activity theory (see for example
>>>> Lisina, M. (1985)
>>>> Child-Adults-Peers: Patterns of Communication. Progress Publishers;
>>>> Karpov,Y.(2005). The Neo-Vygotskian Approach to Child Development.
>>>> Cambridge University Press; Bodrova, E. & Leong, B.(1996). Tools of
>>>> theMind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education.
>>>> Prentice-Hall,
>>>> Inc., pp. 50-55; Rodina, K. (2006).The Neo-Vygotskian Approach to
>>>> EarlyCommunication: A Cultural-Historical and Activity based
>>>> Concept of
>>>> Ontogeny. Nordic Psychology,Vol.58, No.4, 331-354).
>>>> Katarina
>>>> On Sat, November 21, 2009 17:22, mike cole wrote:
>>>>> " Since communication is the precise measure of the possibility of
>>>> social
>>>>> organization, of good understanding among men (sic), relations
>>>> that are
>>>> beyond its range are not truly social..
>>>>> GH Cooley, 1894.
>>>>> for Cooley, like Pierce, "mind is made concrete in culture."
>>>>> ---------------
>>>>> Cooley's first book: The theory of transportation. No accident that.
>>>>> mike
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>> --
>>>> Katarina A. Rodina
>>>> Research Fellow (PhD)/Logoped,MNLL
>>>> Department of Special Needs Education,
>>>> University of Oslo, P.O.Box 1140 Blindern,
>>>> NO-0318 Oslo, Norway
>>>> Phone: +47 41 108 408/Fax:  +47 22 85 80 21
>>>> E-mail: katarina.rodina@isp.uio.no
>>>> http://staffdirectory.uv.uio.no/singleview/v1/index.php?user=katja
>>>> http://katarinarodina.blogspot.com/
>>>> Head of Russo-Norwegian Academic Relations,
>>>> The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology/RSUH
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