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[Xmca-l] Re: Trump's speech and Perezhivanie

Hi folks, 

I am quite interested in the idea of collecting accounts of
experiences from younger people and those with different views from our
own. It
made me think of a conversation I had with my son over the weekend, and his
response to my sense of frustration.  While Martin
suggests not only talking to family and friends, in terms of ethics and
immediacy they may be easier to approach to begin with ­ especially if they
don¹t hold views similar to our own.  I
therefore include below some of what I recall of our conversation and some
reflections upon it.  I also note with interest his use of the terms
Œironic¹ and Œunironically¹ in terms of his perception of some of the
people he knows who are Trump Œfollowers¹.

J¹s view ­ young adult male (Australian), a Œgamer¹, in his final year of
school ­ interacts online with a global networks of other gamers,
predominantly male

³Your generation of social justice warriors don¹t get it. A
lot of young people are sick of all the concern over the so-called
Œdisadvantaged¹ people and sick of the political correctness. They think
could be disadvantaged depending on how you twist it, there can never be
equality for all.  
While as an individual I find him detestable I know people
who follow him unironically as well as ironically.²

Q: What do you mean follow him ironically?

³They are people who just follow him because they want to
see what happens, they think it¹s funny.²

Q: So are you saying they are just after the spectacle?

³It¹s like following the WWE (wrestling) people love it,
they love the characters, but it¹s not serious. Some people follow him in
kind of way. He¹s a larger than life character. He creates chaos around
him and
they like to watch that.²

Q: And what about the people you say are following him
unironically, what do you mean?

³They¹re people who like the fact he is unapologetic and
totally non-PC, so he¹s saying the things a lot of people think but could
get away with saying.  His political and
economic ideas might be rubbish, but they like the fact he¹s saying Œup
to the system.  Even though in the end he
has to work through that system to get anything done.²

Some of my reflections Š.
This identification of the significance of a form of
Engagement (and perhaps lived Œemotional experience) that may appear to be
flippant or shallow even, brought to mind
Bakhtin¹s discussion of carnival ­ something I drew upon in my Masters
work when
attempting to understand some of the interactions involving young people on

In searching for some means of trying to understand this fascination with
humorous, the grotesque and the profane being circulated on the Internet
Bakhtin¹s work on ³folk humour and carnival
laughter² seems to offer some parallels and insights.  Bakhtin¹s study
explored the work of French
writer Francois Rabelais (c.1494-1553) and the role of folk humour during
Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  What
Bakhtin identified was that while historically the Œauthoritarian word¹ of
official realm (involving the church and recorded politics of the day) is
generally that which is studied and explored, that there was a
and unofficial realm that existed alongside the official realm and that
culture, rooted in folk humour, laughter and carnival has been largely
and rarely studied:

boundless world of humour forms and manifestations opposed the official and
serious tone of medieval ecclesiastical and feudal culture.  In spite of
their variety, folk festivities
of the carnival type, the comic rites and cults, the clowns and fools,
dwarfs, and jugglers, the vast and manifold literature of parody ­ all
forms have one style in common:  they
belong to one culture of folk carnival humour². (Bakhtin in Morris, 1994:

Perhaps it
is the case that the Internet and now the political sphere is the current
for the experience of carnival, in Bakhtin¹s discussion this was often
the official realm, but now the distinctions seem to have disintegrated.
is of intriguing now is that through Trump many features of carnival have
drawn into what would historically be considered Œthe official realm¹. He
adopts the persona, the language, the acts more characteristic of
carnival,  introducing features of abuse,
the grotesque and profanities not generally associated with the
order. He is certainly creating a spectacle that many people find deeply
engaging (though not necessarily necessarily hopeful or profound) some
find the spectacle deeply
offensive but can¹t help watching, while other are quite enjoying the
and entertainment!

(Sorry if the formatting of this is bit strange - I typed it elsewhere

I look forward to others thoughts and accounts.


On 24/01/2017 5:27 pm, "xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
Alfredo Jornet Gil" <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu on behalf of
a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> wrote:

>Another article exploring Trump's age:
>From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>on behalf of Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>Sent: 24 January 2017 08:03
>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Trump's speech and Perezhivanie
>That would be interesting to explore, Mike. You suggest actually asking
>how people from different ages and demographics and share it here? That
>sounds doable!
>From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>Sent: 24 January 2017 00:54
>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Trump's speech and Perezhivanie
>Martin's caution relates to my suggestion that we not restrict the same to
>our families or students and friends. People experienced the Trump victory
>in different ways. The example from LSV involves kids of three ages.  That
>still seems an important focus. Our contemporaries are in there 30's +
>++). Our students are in latest teens or 20+. High school kids are in the
>teens. Middle school kids.....
>It is my strong impression that there are significant age differences in
>ones experience of the event that could be elicited pretty easily and
>compared in the group across other interesting categories of difference
>such as nationality.
>A small, positive, collective effort?
>On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 9:08 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>> Dear Martin,
>> thanks for the nuances you introduce. Yes, I agree with you, it is
>> sensible to hear Trump's words with hope and actually experience
>> (perezhivat) them in such a way as to become moving force towards
>> transformation. I was only approaching the speech from a developmental
>> stages perspective, where, to hear the speech with contempt  given the
>> speech's formal structure as a type of generalisation, would mean to
>> them within that stage that Andy very appropriately (in my view) called
>> "magic". Vygotsky (I think) also used this term to refer to a stage in
>> child development.
>> But I do not wish to say that contempt is the only possible quality, and
>> so, as you very nicely remark, hope, enthusiasm, empowerment, all these
>> their developmental and historical conditions should be considered as
>> possibilities of hearing Trump's speech.
>> Thanks a lot for the resources/links, I am incorporating them to our
>> document.
>> Alfredo
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> on behalf of Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
>> Sent: 22 January 2017 16:08
>> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Trump's speech and Perezhivanie
>> Hi Alfredo.
>> I think your proposal is very interesting; that we could explore two
>> different ways of hearing and understanding Trump¹s words. But if I
>> understand you correctly, I don¹t agree that ³in the first case, there
>> no hope for change, there is contempt.²  I have lived in Michigan and
>> Pennsylvania, and in both states industries that were central to the
>> economic rise of the working class, auto manufacturing and steel
>> collapsed as a result of globalization. I have seen first hand some of
>> communities that were almost completely destroyed. I believe that people
>> who experienced these changes do hear Trump¹s words with hope for
>> and if they have contempt it is for professional politicians who they
>> speak but do not act.
>> But perhaps you mean it was a lack of hope that *led* people to Trump:
>> <http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/
>> donald-trump-manufacturing-jobs-hope/496541/>
>> The New Yorker has published several articles by George Packer (no
>> relation) on the appeal that Trump has to the white working class. For
>> example:
>> <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/16/how-
>> donald-trump-appeals-to-the-white-working-class>
>> Martin
>> On Jan 21, 2017, at 3:44 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>> <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>> wrote:
>> Dear Helena, Andy, all,
>> Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the time to watch the movie
>> Fate of a Man, but I have followed the very interesting analyses and
>> conversations about it. I am opening this thread as connexions between
>> those analyses, perezhivanie, and current tragic social and political
>> situation in the US and elsewhere. This also connects with the article
>> Mike shared on the position of the Learning Sciences with regard to this
>> situation (how happy I was to see this initiative!).
>> In particular, I wanted to pick up on Helena's very true comment that
>> US is going to have to produce some works of scholarship or art, or
>> that attempt to explain what is happening now here in the US -- for
>> example, this afternoon, under President Trump."
>> Yesterday, we saw at home Trump's speech. Although we had followed
>> campaign and its denigrating tenor, it was yesterday, for the first
>> that my wife and me got this gut feeling of true tragedy, of a real
>> as we heard those empty, but to recover the prior article for
>> hollowed and hollowing words coming out of that mouth. It came upon us
>> there may be lots of people for whom those words are not hollowed, but
>> actually encouraging, rich, beautiful. How can you hear that as beauty?
>> So, I was wondering, and in following up with our 2016 MCA Issue 4
>> discussion,  whether we could not actually conduct an analysis of the
>> Marc offers in his article of the perezhivanie. Just as Vygotsky
>> how 3 different children experience the situation of an alcoholic mother
>> differently, could not we perform an analysis ?of that perezhivanie in
>> which a person experiences yesterday's situation as one of
>> of freedom and hope. Would that not be a way to try to understand what
>> going on? This would not be a piece of art, but could be something we
>> do to try to understand and change this situation.
>> We could then contrast that perezhivanie with the one many of as have,
>> which the situation is experience as a real TRAGEDY. I think in the
>> case, there is no hope for change, there is contempt; in the second,
>> hearing those words as hollowed and hollowing require that you live the
>> situation as a doubled situation in which you experienced it from a very
>> different developmental stage. One in which the speech sounds as a case
>> involution.
>> Should we find the transcribed speech and perform such analysis?
>> Going now to support the Woman's march here in Victoria BC.
>> Alfredo

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