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[Xmca-l] Re: perezhivanie

I heartily concur with your efforts to gain precision, Marc. Leaving aside the generation of new terms willy nilly for no scientific purpose, the problem we face (especially in appropriating scientific work in the Marxist tradition) is this: the object is itself is not fixed. Analytical approaches want strictly circumscribed objects, differentiated from one another by definable attributes, but continuing analysis (e.g. over the history of a science) lead to more and more distinctions, leading to the disintegration of the original concept or insight. For example, the psychology of a child is not like the psychology of an adult, and yet the child is a person, just as is an adult, and the psychology of a child has to be understood *not in itself* but in its fitness to turn, eventually, into the psychology of an adult.

Irina Mescheryakov's dictionary definition (circulated by Alfredo last week) said:

   "According to the theory of Vygotsky, /perezhivanie/ can
   be approached like any other mental function which in
   ontogenesis is developed from involuntary and direct
   forms to the highest forms, which have status of action
   or activity. This approach offers possibilities for
   distinguishing the different genetic forms
   /perezhivanie/, and also for the search for the
   cultural-historical means of mastery of /perezhivanie./"

So my point is: generating multiple different terms for /perezhivanie/ in this or that circumstance places an obligation on the writer to show how one transforms into the other. Such a transformation process is not *yet another form* of /perezhivanie/ but the content of the processes undergoing transformation.


Andy Blunden
On 10/01/2017 1:19 PM, Marc Clarà wrote:
Hi, Andy,
In my opinion, it is important, and especially in this topic, to be precise about the phenomena or the aspects of the phenomena which are under scrutiny; otherwise, scientific discussion and cumulative construction may become quite difficult. In this case, it might happen, I think, that different people interarticulate a formally coherent discourse talking of perezhivanie, and they think they are talking about the same object of study and about analogous observations, but in reality talking about different objects of study, or different aspects, or about observations which can be complementary (instead of in opposition, for example). The problem, in my view, is not that there are different focuses, aspects, etc. under research in relation to a phenomenon or different related phenomena; the problem may arise if observations about different aspects, for example, are counterpoised and discussed as if they were about the same aspect of the phenomenon. That's why I think it may be useful to make some distinctions, to gain some precision in the scientific work on perezhivanie. The first distinction, experiencing-as-contemplation and experiencing-as-struggle, is made by Vasilyuk (although with a different name for experiencing-as-struggle, as explained in the paper). He initially distinguishes these as two types of activity, although later suggests that experiencing-as-contemplation could be an initial moment for a subsequent experiencing-as-struggle (but not all experiencing-as-contemplation would necessarily imply experiencing-as-struggle). In experiencing-as-struggle, Vasilyuk also identifies the importance of the cultural meanings that mediate this activity -which he calls schematism,- and especially how these meanings are transformed in experiencing-as-struggle. In my interpretation, when Vygotsky talks of perezhivanie in The Problem of the Environment, he focuses mainly in this type of meaning. This is what in my comment I suggested to call m-perezhivanie. I agree with you, Andy, and I think this is also related to part of Alfredo's points, that there is no experiencing-as-struggle without a mediating m-perezhivanie which is transformed in the activity, so that, even analytically, this distinction could seem useless, because studying experiencing-as-struggle is the same as studying the transformation of m-perezhivanija, and viceversa. Still, I think that the distinction may be useful because I work with the hypothesis that this type of holistic meaning is key not only as a mediator in experiencing-as-struggle, but in many other types of activity (as I mentioned also in previous messages and also in the paper). Thus, what we learn about this type of mediating meaning in experiencing-as-struggle may inform also about other types of activities and viceversa. Also, and in the same vein, in my view this distinction helps to connect Vygotsky and Vasilyuk works on perezhivanie. Thus, note that, in The Problem of the Environment, Vygotsky does not consider what in my interpretation is m-perezhivanie as mediating in activities of experiencing-as-struggle, but instead he considers it, basically, as mediating in activities of experiencing-as-contemplation. I don't know if the terms I suggested are adequate or not, and I don't consider myself with authority enough to recommend one term over others, but I think that, regardless the terms used, we need to be precise about the phenomenon or aspects of the phenomenon we are addressing.
Best regards,

2017-01-10 1:05 GMT+01:00 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>:

    Marc, throughout the Special Issue we spelt
    /perezhivanie/ the same say and put it in italics,
    indicating a Russian word transliterated into English,
    and systematically had authors delete "experiencing"
    and "lived experience" from their articles and even
    quotations, as part of an effort to create a common
    meaning for the word. Summing up your position, in the
    Response, you said:

           In my reading (and I apologize in advance for any
           misinterpretations), the different papers in this
           special issue have basically noted four different
           phenomena that are sometimes referred to as
           /perezhivanie/. They might be considered four
           different meanings of the word. To distinguish
           between these meanings of /perezhivanie/, I will
           give them four different tentative names:
           experiencing-as-struggle; fantasy-based
           experiencing-as-struggle; and m-/perezhivanie/.

    What is your recommendation for future writers? Should
    they choose one of these four terms? Or use
    /perezhivanie/ and qualify, or rely on context to
    specify meaning?

-- ------------------------------------------------------------
    Andy Blunden
    http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>