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[Xmca-l] Re: Community Psychology



Mike…

Thanks for the welcoming voice. I’ve written two retrospectives, auto-biographical reflections on KEEP (Kamehameha Early Education Project). They are not theoretical or even empirical or truly historical. I’m happy to share if you think the MCA community will find of interest. 

Planning, executing, and grieving over intervention and change projects have been more my lot than most anything else. At least that’s what drove me in my 50+ years  of trying to figure things out. How an outside agent seeks to position within a niche might better be framed as: in what role does a niche afford an outside agent?

So the first question re: positions of an external change agent is this: What activity settings (AS) are available in the everyday routines of families, schools, workplaces, communities, etc.?  Which activity setting offers a “slot” for an external agent to participate, what is the work done, why is this working being done (perceptions may differ among participants), and what are the participant structures and interaction norms? 

Sometimes there is no AS and the first and often time-consuming job is to create one. 

ron



> On Mar 23, 2016, at 6:17 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> 
> It is great to see your voice, Ron, after such a long absence!
> 
> Perfect timing for intervening to bring your first person perspective to
> the days of the kamehameha project, too.
> 
> A very neat summary of reasons for bringing Vygotsky and activity into the
> discussion. The summary make a point that has been the subject of a lot of
> discussion recently -- how to ensure that agency for change in such
> projects comes from what you call the ecocultural niche.
> 
> How, in intervention research, can one, does one, position oneself as the
> instrument of the community in its efforts to develop, however community is
> instantiated in the research.
> 
> Is there a recent historical account of that project? Something along the
> lines of the paper that Cliff posted about Seymous Sarason's activity
> setting, an old building
> on the edge of a freeway extension, in New Haven?
> 
> mike
> 
> 
> 
> On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 5:48 PM, Ronald Gallimore <ronaldg@ucla.edu> wrote:
> 
>> Mike…
>> 
>> “Activity setting” is the terminology Tom Weisner and I used in a AAA
>> paper (attached) “constructed” by us to reflect the impact on our thinking
>> of the Whitings Psychocultural Theory and Activity Theory/Vygotsky. Roland
>> and I used it in in Rousing Minds to Life. We were trying at the time to
>> see a convergence in thinking in different realms of psychology and
>> anthropology. The Psychocultural folks used “settings” which seemed to map
>> onto “activity” as you and many others were introducing to American
>> psychology.
>> 
>> From the Conclusions of Weisner & Gallimore (1985):
>> 
>> "The convergence of these two theories suggests some interesting
>> hypotheses: First, for cultural change to have effects on individuals,
>> ecocultural forces must be instantiated into activity settings which are a
>> part of the everyday life of the individual. Changes which never influence
>> goals, motives, personnel, tasks, and task requirements will have little
>> effect on individual cognition, emotion and behavior. This is as true of
>> the home and community setting, as it is for the classroom: efforts to
>> "make culture relevant for minority education" which do not also have the
>> effect of reshaping relevant features of classroom activity settings are
>> unlikely to produce strong effects on learning.
>> 
>> A second hypothesis relates specifically to children and to efforts to
>> affect child development through parent training. Many programs rely on
>> training of parents to achieve socially desirable goals. The convergence of
>> activity and ecocultural theory suggests that none of these will have
>> lasting effects unless they create activities which are supported by the
>> local ecocultural niche.
>> 
>> A related version of the same hypothesis is a requirement that any effort
>> to train parents must require evidence that such training is not only
>> supported by the niche, but is adopted by other parents and diffused
>> through the niche as a valued innovation by kinsmen and other culture
>> members.
>> 
>> Uniting of activity and ecocultural theory provides an attractive
>> alternative to explanations using packed, global terms, such as
>> differential levels of "stimulation" for children, or packaged family-level
>> measures such as socioeconomic status rankings. Used in this way
>> stimulation has roughly the same explanatory properties as bad night air.
>> Something about better educated mothers makes them more stimulating--but
>> what? What are the mediating mechanisms? The combination of the two
>> theories provides a basis for specifying at the level of cultural
>> activities what it is that accounts for differential behavior, and at the
>> same time provides a principled basis for identifying the ecocultural
>> context which gives rise to the activities. What matters is the ecocultural
>> factors that in turn influence the who, why, what and how of the activities
>> in which children spend their time.”
>> 
>> ron
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Mar 23, 2016, at 5:21 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Cliff, thanks for this.
>>> Michael, yes, I'm entirely in agreement about the importance of the
>>> intransigence of a meaning of a concept for the individual - it has to be
>>> something outside of us in order to be of value to us, i.e. to enable
>>> newness, growth, development.
>>> 
>>> Where I get tripped up is: does meaning have to be intransigent for a
>> given
>>> community? I suppose the answer is: yes, if the point is the growth of
>> that
>>> community. But maybe not if the point is the growth of the individuals in
>>> that community (for whom the meaning may indeed be intransigent).
>>> 
>>> Maybe.
>>> -greg
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 2:31 PM, Cliff O'Donnell <cliffo@hawaii.edu>
>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Greg, for an overview of the Yale Psycho-Educational Clinic, see:
>>>> 
>>>> Goldenburg, I. and Levine, M. (1969), The development and evolution of
>> the
>>>> YALE PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL CLINIC. Applied Psychology: An International
>>>> Review, 18, 101–110. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.1969.tb00671.x
>>>> 
>>>> Cliff
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Mar 22, 2016, at 7:22 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Mike,
>>>>> Just wondering if you had any observations to share about the Yale
>>>>> Psycho-Educational Clinic?
>>>>> (or maybe you had left Yale by then?).
>>>>> Seemed like an interesting attempt to create a setting that would be
>> neat
>>>>> to hear more about from the outside.
>>>>> -greg
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 1:19 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Trying to follow through on each of the concepts, Cliff.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> In this connection, I notice that you use the term "activity setting"
>>>>>> which
>>>>>> you attribute to Vygotsky. The book I took the McDermott materials
>> from
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> called "Understanding Practice: Perspectives on activity and context.
>> In
>>>>>> that book, in the discussions among authors, Engestrom is led to
>> declare
>>>>>> that "the activity is the context."
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> So my mind is spinning around what an activity setting might refer to
>>>>>> over
>>>>>> and above "activity." And then there is the question of how your use
>> of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> term context and the word setting relate to each other. And all of
>> this
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> presumably closely linked to the discussion on text/context.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Interesting to revisit old topics from new perspectives.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> mike
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 11:55 AM, Cliff O'Donnell <cliffo@hawaii.edu>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Thanks, Mike. Attached is the manuscript for my 2012 article with
>> Roland.
>>>>>>> In it we discuss how we are using the concepts of context, culture,
>> and
>>>>>>> intersubjectivity.
>>>>>>> Note that context is expressed in one of the goals of community
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> psychology
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> by its professional organization,
>>>>>>> the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA):
>>>>>>> ‘'to promote theory development and research that increases
>>>>>>> our understanding of human behavior in context’'
>>>>>>> (SCRA 2010 )."
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> After discussing the many meanings of culture, we used the
>> definition as
>>>>>>> the "shared meanings of people, developed through their history
>>>>>>> and activities." Also in our discussion of intersubjectivity, we
>> noted
>>>>>>> "intersubjectivity does not imply uniformity. Diversity may be a
>> shared
>>>>>>> value,
>>>>>>> agreement about process may allow frequent conflict, and there will
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> always
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> be differences among people in their skills, thoughts, experience,
>> and
>>>>>>> emotions. In
>>>>>>> addition, activity settings are dynamic; their characteristics are in
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> flux
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> and, therefore, the intersubjectivity of their participants change
>> over
>>>>>>> time (O’Donnell et al.
>>>>>>> 1993, p. 507)."
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Cliff
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Mar 20, 2016, at 8:26 AM, mike cole wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Alfredo's comments sent me looking for background material on the CC
>>>>>>> side
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> of Roland and Cliff's article.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> There is an article by Seymour as part of a special issue of MCA a
>>>>>>>> while
>>>>>>>> ago. It seems not to have attraced the notice it deserves.Attached.
>>>>>>>> Also attached is a recent summary of Community Psychology and
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Intervention
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> research which seemed like promising background and perhaps a source
>> of
>>>>>>>> additional ideas, since intervention is what so many us do
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> professionally.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Myself, I have been thinking about why Roland and Cliff identified
>>>>>>>> secondary intersubjectivity as a key common principle.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> mike
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>>>>>>> object
>>>>>>>> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
>>>>>>>> <Revisiting the Creating of Settings.pdf><communitypsych.pdf>
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>>>>> object
>>>>>> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> --
>>>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>>>> Assistant Professor
>>>>> Department of Anthropology
>>>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>>>> Brigham Young University
>>>>> Provo, UT 84602
>>>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Clifford R. O'Donnell, Ph.D.
>>>> Professor Emeritus
>>>> Past-President, Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division
>> 27)
>>>> 
>>>> University of Hawai‘i
>>>> Department of Psychology
>>>> 2530 Dole Street
>>>> Honolulu, HI 96822
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>> Assistant Professor
>>> Department of Anthropology
>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>> Brigham Young University
>>> Provo, UT 84602
>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch