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[Xmca-l] Re: Two worlds, Urie Bronfenbrenner

I thought the same, that is, this is really very courageous to write on
Soviet experience like this, with these results of USSR, in US. He first
visited USSR in 1960, then 6 times until 1967. I intend to focus on the
background of UB's courageous effort and highly appreciate any piece of
information and comment.

What Two Worlds made me think again is that, Soviets, despite many defects,
did not deserve to be dissolved like this.

Have a  look at this: "How CAN WE judge the worth of a society? On what
basis can we predict bow well a nation will sun'ive and prosper? Many
indices could be used for this purpose, among them the Gross National
Product, the birth rate, crime statistics, mental health data, etc. In this
bock we propose yet another criterion: the concern of one generation for
the next, If the children and youth of a nation are afforded opportunity to
develop their capacities to the fullest, if they are given the knowledge to
understand the world and the wisdom to change it, then the prospects for
the future are bright. In contrast, a society which neglects its children,
however well it may function in other respects, risks eventual
disorganization and demise". (Two worlds, p.1)

This is ruthless criticism as Marx writes to Ruge (1843 September) and very
courageous indeed.

This made me think that what was not to be demolished has been demolished
in 1990. And what was to be demolished, what was deserving and deserves
more and more every day, continues to live. Two worlds.

I also think that Soviets' own defects and imperialist propaganda created
an immense ideological effect, of a character of dystopia, that humanity
will not be able to exit from this hell of capitalism, that it does not
deserve new revolutions given the result in USSR, in China.

I am very much opposed to this pessimism. Such a pessimism can be valid for
"middle class" people, who can live with capitalism.

But what about millions of proletarians? They need revolutions. This is I
believe materialism.

Here once more we come to Lenin because we know very well that he always
thought of the emancipation of the proletariat, "real proletariat" I would

On the side, as to the intelellectuals, to the scientists. Can they close
their eyes that what was scientifically correct for humanity, for instance,
in terms of upbringing, was the one in USSR and continue to hang in, to
entertain with "science" detached from the humanity's burning needs.

I think UB's effort deserves a great respect in this regard, that he did
not close his eyes to the reality which developed before his eyes and
appreciated the humanity's successful efforts on the other side of the

Very exemplary indeed, for today too.

Finally, he is exemplary also in terms of establishing a bridge to what is
not mainstream in, outside of capitalist academia.


On 12 March 2016 at 00:33, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> Ulvi:
> Bronfenbrenner was born in Moscow, just two weeks after Lenin returned to
> Russia and read the April Theses to the Bolshevik Party, preparing them to
> take state power within six months. Historical coincidence?
> Of course it is. A more important fact about Bronfenbrenner's life is that
> he had to make a career in American academia at the height of the
> McCarthyite purge. Which does make the papers that Jonathan pointed to all
> the more remarkable and all the more courageous. True, they were not
> published until the sixties and seventies, but then they probably COULDN'T
> have been published before then.
> To me, what is most Marxist about Bronfenbrenner is his recognition that
> the most important ecosystem in the development of the child is one that
> the child never even lays eyes on: what Daddy (and more rarely Mommy) have
> to do for a living. This was a very unpopular thing to say, and it still
> is, because it is not only Marxist but Durkheimian: it implies that the
> social and the interpersonal really are two qualitatively different levels
> of being requiring two qualitatively different kinds of analysis (part of
> the recent discussion on drama touched this point: the kind of freedom
> espoused by the Matusov/Marjanovic-Shane school of development is largely
> concerned with the interpersonal and not the social).
> But how do the social and the interpersonal get so thoroughly
> inter-connected by the time the child is an adolescent? In my country, it
> is depressingly straightforward: I remember how the "Head Start" programmes
> which Bronfenbrenner (and Labov) worked indefatigably to create were almost
> exclusively made up of kids from the other side of a chain-link fence which
> ran right down the centre of Prospect Park in Minneapolis, separating the
> homes of the overwhelmingly white University of Minnesota professors and
> their kids (including me) from the overwhelmingly black housing project
> where we learnt, by sixth grade, not to play.
> What I am re-reading right now is the second volume of Ruqaiya Hasan's
> Collected Works, "Semantic Variation" (something she told me to read the
> last time I met her and I wanted to talk about her first volume). Ruqaiya
> insists throughout that we distinguish between the "material situational
> setting" of talk (the sort of thing that shows up on the child's purely
> visio-graphic analysis of context) and the semantic context (the sort of
> things which are selected as worthy of processing into language). It's not
> that the child has to imagine what Mommies and Daddies do for a living;
> it's that they have to imagine what kinds of things Mommy and Daddy select
> as worth talking about.
> These semantic orientations are not the same for different classes of
> people, and Ruqaiya's (and Bronfennbrenner's) great insight and great
> courage lay in tirelessly telling us so. But for me, growing up, there was
> a clear visographic clue which infallibly linked any potental friend to
> which side of the chain-link fence a potential friend played on, namely
> skin color. Tragically, I had mastered this clue by sixth grade.
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:41 PM, Jonathan Tudge <jrtudge@uncg.edu> wrote:
> > Dear Ulvi,
> >
> > Bronfenbrenner wrote a fair number of papers about Soviet child-rearing
> > practices in the 1960s, as well as papers describing the "mirror image"
> > (the way Americans see Russians and vice versa).
> >
> > Even more interesting, from my point of view, is the fact that he wrote
> in
> > the 1970s papers in which he argued that American child-rearing efforts
> > would be significantly improved by incorporating some aspects of Soviet
> > approaches.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Jon
> >
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~
> >
> > Jonathan Tudge
> >
> > Professor
> > Office: 155 Stone
> >
> > http://morethanthanks.wp.uncg.edu/
> >
> > Mailing address:
> > 248 Stone Building
> > Department of Human Development and Family Studies
> > PO Box 26170
> > The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
> > Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
> > USA
> >
> > phone (336) 223-6181
> > fax   (336) 334-5076
> >
> > http://www.uncg.edu/hdf/facultystaff/Tudge/Tudge.html
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 7:14 AM, Ulvi İçil <ulvi.icil@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I am reading this wonderful work of Bronfenbrenner, it is my second,
> > deeper
> > > reading just after the first.
> > >
> > > As far as I know he did not have any particular political inclination
> > > towards Soviet Union, Marxism etc.
> > >
> > > But it is interesting that the Part I of his book (and it seems this is
> > his
> > > first book)
> > > is selected to have the title of "The making of the new soviet man".
> > >
> > > I highly appreciate if any other such cross-cultural including Soviet
> (or
> > > solely on Soviet child upbringing) is proposed.
> > >
> > > Ulvi
> > >
> >