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[Xmca-l] Re: Wertsch is focusing on the concept of *settings* and I wonder if the notion of *human worlds* is considered equivalent to this notion of *settings* ?

Hi Antti, 

thanks so much for sharing your work! The case you present is definitely interesting with regard to Andy's example of the problematic of field trips as 'settings'. And congratulations for the recent publication!

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Antti Rajala <ajrajala@gmail.com>
Sent: 21 August 2017 19:02
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Wertsch is focusing on the concept of *settings* and I wonder if the notion of *human worlds* is considered equivalent to this notion of *settings* ?

Dear Larry and Andy and all,

I agree with Andy that there is a risk of blurring the distinctions.
Moreover, I would like to consider the context of activity as dynamic in
the sense that Mike meant it in his book in 1996.

Andy's example of a fieldtrip resonates so much with a paper that I
recently wrote with Sanne Akkerman that I could not resist sharing it here.
It will soon be published in a special issue on dialogical approaches to
learning, in the journal Learning Culture and Social Interaction. In the
paper, we analyze how the forest during a fieldtrip is produced in varied
ways as the context of the activity through the different participants'
interpretations (teacher, children, nature school educators). We also
illuminate how these different interpretations are negotiated and
hybridized in the dialogic interactions during the fieldtrip.

Hopefully our uses of the terms contribute in small part to the increased
clarity of these discussions.



On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:56 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Larry, all notions are linked, I am sure.
> The idea of "settings" is a powerful one, used not only by Wertsch but
> others such as Hedegaard. The trouble I have with it is that it can
> function to blur some important distinctions. Is the setting an artefact
> (e.g. a type of building and related furniture and signage, etc., for
> example marking it as a school) or is it an activity (such as doing
> schoolwork). Extending this (example) what is the setting on a school field
> trip? - the ambiguity is of course a real one, not just an artefact of
> theory - on a field trip, in the absence of all the physical markers of the
> classroom, kids can mistakenly behave in a way inappropriate to school
> work. On the other hand, extending the same (example) in the other
> direction, if a child is acting as a stand-over man in the classroom in
> order to extort pocket money from other children is this deemed to be
> taking place in a "school setting"? That is, it tends to blur the mediating
> artefact with the activity, albeit in ways which mirror real ambiguity.
> Expressions like "cultural [settings], institutional [settings], and
> historical [settings]" seem in turn to merge activity and tool/sign with
> context in the broadest sense. Such settings do indeed "provide and shape
> the cultural tools" insofar as they are deemed to imply collaborating with
> other people. The next sentence talks about "mediational means"; these are
> indeed "carriers" of patterns of activity, etc. But artefacts (tools and
> signs) are not the only mediational means. Does the author mean artefacts,
> or are theories and practices (such as for example would characterise a
> specific institution) also intended to be included? If so, what does this
> mean for the idea of a "setting." How does setting differ from frame, or
> context, or discourse, or activity or genre or field, or ...?
> So there are some powerful ideas in this mixture, but the blurring going
> on disturbs me.
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> On 21/08/2017 2:02 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
>> On page 204 of the Wertsch article : “The Primacy of Mediated Action in
>> Sociocultural Studies”  is the notion of broadening the concept of
>> *Settings*  On page 204 is this paragraph:
>> “Vygotsky’s analysis of mediation is central to understanding his
>> contribution to psychology. Indeed, it is the key in his approach to
>> understanding how human mental functioning is tied to cultural [settings],
>> institutional [settings], and historical [settings] since these settings
>> shape and provide the cultural tools that are mastered by individuals to
>> form this functioning.  In this approach the mediational means are what
>> might be termed the *carriers* of sociocultural patterns and knowledge.”
>> I notice that other traditions posit the notion of {worlds] that come
>> into existence with human approaches to [worlds].
>> Is it ok to consider that Wertsch who is exploring linking human mental
>> functioning to human settings is indicating the same realm as others who
>> are exploring human mental functioning linking to human *worlds*.
>> In particular the author John William Miller posits the actuality of
>> *midworlds* that resemble or have a family semblance to the notion of
>> *settings*.
>> Also Continental Philosophy explores *worlds* that exist as human
>> dwelling places?
>> The notions of [settings] and [worlds] seem to be linked?
>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10