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[Xmca-l] Re: Vygotsky,Marx, & summer reading



So "mediated action" works as a unit of analysis?

Thanks -- H

Helena Worthen
helenaworthen@gmail.com
Vietnam blog: helenaworthen.wordpress.com

On Aug 20, 2017, at 4:01 AM, David Kellogg wrote:

> I would like to propose the following tests for a unit of analysis. They
> are all based on things Vygotsky wrote in the pedology.The examples, from
> biology, political economy, and music, are my own.
> 
> a) It must be maximally simple. That is, it must be small enough to be
> manageable in experiments, clinical settings, and observable using
> "objectivizing" methods of research such as the functional method of dual
> stimulation or the Zoped. For example, cells can be managed in a petri
> dish, drawn from patients during examinations, and their genesis may be
> provoked and observed with a microscope: the commodity can be abstracted
> from an exchange for analysis, observed as it arises in production and
> exchange, and elicited through barter and markets. The four note "theme" of
> that opens Beethoven's fifth symphony is simple enough to play on a timpani
> as well as a piano.
> 
> b) It must be minimally complex. That is, it must contain functioning
> analogues of all the properties which are the object of investigation. For
> example, cells have functioning analogues for metabolism, reproduction, and
> equilibrium with the environment.Commodities contain, in a coded,
> potential, or "embryonic" form, all the social relations of labor and
> capital we find in a mature capitalist economy. Beethoven's "theme" is
> complex enough to describe the structure of the symphony as a whole, and to
> form its coda.
> 
> c) These analogues cannot be simple, miniaturized "recapitulations" of the
> properties which are the object of investigation. The mechanisms of cell
> metabolism, reproduction, homeostasis are not the same as the metabolism of
> the human organism. A commodity cannot produce or exchange or invest
> itself; it does not contain productive labour or finance capital in
> anything but a coded form; these must be unfolded through the historical
> process and that historical process is not infallibly predictable.
> Beethoven's "theme" did not create its variations and permutations:
> Beethoven did.
> 
> Applying these tests to the units that Andy proposes (with one exception,
> number three below, they are also based on Vygotsky!) we find:
> 
> 1. Word meaning is maximally simple but not minimally complex. It doesn't
> contain analogues of interpersonal meanings, e.g. questions, commands,
> statements, requests. It doesn’t contain analogues of textual meanings,
> e.g. hypotaxis and parataxis, Theme and Rheme, Given and New information.
> 
> 2. The social situation of development is minimally complex but not
> maximally simple: it does construe the ensemble of relations between the
> child and the environment at a given age stage, including the whole of
> actual and potential language, but these cannot be managed in an
> experimental or clinical setting, or elicited in complete form using the
> functional method of dual stimulation or the Zoped.
> 
> 3. Mediated actions are maximally simple and minimally complex, but not, as
> far as I can see, structurally, functionally or genetically different from
> the phenomena of activity they purport to explain.
> 
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> 
> Recent Article: Vygotsky, Halliday, and Hasan: Towards Conceptual
> Complementarity
> 
> Free E-print Downloadable at:
> 
> http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/W7EDsmNSEwnpIKFRG8Up/full
> 
> On Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> 
>> Word meanings for the study of (verbal) intellect
>> Artefact-mediated actions for the more general study of the development of
>> activity
>> Perezhivaniya for the study of personality development
>> (Defect-Compensation) for the study of disability or whatever
>> Social Situations of Development for the study of child development
>> 
>> See page 9 on https://www.academia.edu/11387923/
>> 
>> Andy
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden
>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>> On 19/08/2017 10:47 PM, Martin John Packer wrote:
>> 
>>> What are the five, Andy?
>>> 
>>> Martin
>>> 
>>> On Aug 18, 2017, at 9:07 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Amazon have it for $38.21: https://www.amazon.com/Vygotsk
>>>> y-Marx-Toward-Marxist-Psychology/dp/1138244813 which is not too bad.
>>>> 
>>>> My chapter is available at https://www.academia.edu/11387923/ but so
>>>> far as I can see other authors have not posted theirs on academia.edu -
>>>> maybe elsewhere?
>>>> 
>>>> Thank you, Alfredo, for highlighting how I have pointed to 5 different
>>>> domains in which Vygotsky demonstrated the "method of analysis by units."
>>>> To me, it seems useless to identify a writer's methodological innovations
>>>> unless you can transport that methodology to a different context, and
>>>> pointing to five applications by Vygotsky himself seemed a good way of
>>>> showing how portable the method is. More recently, I used this method in an
>>>> approach to political science, taking a group of people in the room trying
>>>> to decide on what they are going to do together as a unit of analysis.
>>>> Personally, I think this method has proved very fruitful and original. How
>>>> lucky we are to be inheritors of Vygotsky's brilliant insights, still
>>>> generally so unknown to the general scientific audience. What a gift LSV
>>>> has given us!
>>>> 
>>>> But legacies are always problematic. Alfredo, I think you would be a
>>>> very good candidate to review this book. Beth?
>>>> 
>>>> Andy
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>> On 18/08/2017 10:16 PM, mike cole wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> Peter, Alfredo Et al -
>>>>> 
>>>>> It seems that the readers of MCA would appreciate a good overview
>>>>> review of
>>>>> the LSV and Marx book, but so far as I know, no one has proposed the
>>>>> idea
>>>>> to Beth, the book review editor. (You seem to have a jump on the task,
>>>>> Alfredo!).
>>>>> 
>>>>> Also, given the cost of the book, it would be nice if authors could
>>>>> follow
>>>>> Andy's lead and make a draft available. Andy's article on units of
>>>>> analysis
>>>>> is on Academia, a click away. That way the many readers of XMCA around
>>>>> the
>>>>> world would not be excluded from the discussion.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Mike
>>>>> Happy travels summer readers.  :-)
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>