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[Xmca-l] Re: "frictions" in space/time

Many thanks for introducing Nordquist’s work and the notion of friction. It
seems a very fruitful concept to understand the processes of negotiation of
different interpretations that are in play when actors interpret the
physical space through their actions and discourse. In our study, we
focused especially on such frictions, using the concepts of divergence from
script and hybridity. Sometimes the different interpretation collided in
productive ways to create new temporary cultural forms, in other times
friction was in place without merging, in yet others we could observe happy
co-existence of different interpretations without much friction. The
concepts you propose could bring more depth into our analysis. Gert Biesta
argued similarly in a paper that education happens in and through
resistance between child and world.


On Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 11:50 PM, Richard Beach <rbeach@umn.edu> wrote:

> Antti, your example of educators versus students alternative perspectives
> of  on the forest/museum as space brings to mind Brice
> Nordquist’s discussion of “friction” related to mobilities across space
> and time in his new book, *Literacy and Mobility: Complexity,
> Uncertainty, and Agency at the Nexus of High School and College*
>  (Routledge).
> This leads to the question as to whether these competing framings of
> space/time lead to dialogic exploration/learning, or simply an ossification
> of predetermined perspectives. As Nordquist notes:
> Anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (2005) uses the term “friction” to describe
> the “awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative qualities of interconnection
> across differences” that enable and disable movement (p. 4). “Friction is
> not just about slowing things down. Friction is required to keep global
> power in motion” (p. 6). Mobility scholars have taken up the concepts of
> friction, motility, and mobile capital—along with concepts of mooring,
> turbulence, dwelling, and placemaking (Cresswell 2010, 2014; Ahmed 2003;
> Tolia-Kelly 2010)—to complicate notions of a deterritorialized or liquid
> global condition (Deleuze and Guattari 1987; Castells 1996; Bauman 2000;
> Hardt and Negri 2000).
> As Sheller (2014) asserts, “For mobilities researchers today it is not a
> question of privileging flows, speed, or a cosmopolitan or nomadic
> subjectivity, but rather of tracking the power of discourses, practices,
> and infrastructures of mobility in creating the effects (and affects) of
> both movement and stasis” (p. 794). In other words, mobilities research is
> concerned, by and large, with the politics of mobility, with the ways in
> which mobilities produce and are produced by social relations (Cresswell
> 2010, p. 21).
> While this concern does frequently extend to political projects and power relations
> shaping economic, cultural, and environmental aspects of globalization,
> “the new mobilities paradigm also differs from theories of globalization in
> its analytical relation to the multi-scalar, non-human,
> non-representational, material, and affective dimensions of mobile life”
> (Sheller 2014, p. 794). As Tsing (2005) reminds us, friction accompanies
> mobilities of people, objects, texts, and capital across scales; indeed,
> there is no mobility without friction. She explains, A wheel turns because
> of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes
> nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick
> alone is just a stick. As a metaphorical image, friction reminds us that
> heterogeneous and unequal encounters can lead to new arrangements of
> culture and power. (p. 5)
> If literacies and languages depend on spatial and temporal mobilities, as
> I claim above, then friction is an essential component of the emergence
> and transformation of literacies and languages through practice, which
> makes it an essential component of agency. As Tsing (2005) asserts,
> “Speaking of friction is a reminder of the importance of interaction in
> defining movement, cultural form, and agency” (p. 6). These relations
> between friction, mobility, and agency bring us back to the notion of
> teaching and learning as placemaking presented above.
> Pennycook (2010) asserts that the tendency to enclose or objectify places
> results from a failure to understand structure as the effect of
> sedimented repetition and argues that repetition of practice is a “form of
> renewal that creates the illusion of systematicity” (p. 47). In this way,
> the apparently preexistent and self-evident nature of a place and its
> practices is illusory because “repeating the same thing in any movement
> through time relocalizes that repetition as something different” (p. 41).
> He suggests that a “focus on movement takes us away from space being only
> about location, and instead draws attention to a relationship between time
> and space, to emergence, to a subject in process—performed rather
> preformed—to becoming” (p. 140).
> Ron and Suzie Scollon (2004) describe the historical body as an
> individual’s “life experiences, their goals or purposes, and their
> unconscious ways of behaving and thinking” (p. 46). Concordant in many ways
> with Pierre Bourdieu’s (1991) notion of habitus, the concept of the
> historical body situates memories, experiences, skills, and capacities more
> precisely in the individual body and thusaccords with the theory of
> embodied knowledge presented in the previous chapter.
> As Blommaert and April Huang (2009) assert: “Participants in social action
> bring their real bodies into play, but their bodies are semiotically
> enskilled: their movements and positions are central to the production of
> meaning, and are organized around normative patterns of conduct” (p. 275).
> For example, the students participating in this study have long been
> accustomed to systems of education, the layouts of school buildings and
> classrooms, interactions with classmates and teachers, and the discourses
> that justify and organize their work.
> This familiarity enables them to adequately navigate educational spaces;
> they know where and when to go, what kinds of activities to engage in
> when they get there, and how to perform these activities. Their historical
> bodies have been formed in ways that make them recognizable as students and
> in ways that habituate and routinize most of their practices (Blommaert and
> Huang 2009, p. 274). Moreover, students bring their historical bodies into
> play, as we have seen, in dynamic and emergent places.
> The patterns of mobility that constitute these places contribute to an
> accumulated history of normative expectations, and accommodating and/or
> resisting such histories is part of the process that builds a historical
> body. In this way, historical bodies and places are mutually constitutive:
> We become enskilled through our participation in social and material
> places, and the histories of participation we bring to these places
> contribute to the practices that constitute them.
> The Scollons’s notion of the historical body offers a powerful frame for observing
> and analyzing cultural knowledges embedded in micro-bodily movements. The
> concept draws our attention to associations made in the movement of a head
> to a desk or a hand into the air. It helps us consider the cultural
> knowledges presencing in a student’s route through a school or city and in
> their stoppages through an assignment. Reflecting on our own historical
> bodies can help us better understand why we tune into or out of certain
> conversations or gravitate toward some student-participants rather than
> others. To attend to convergences of literacies and mobilities, it is not
> enough to consider traces of mobility in texts or in discursive
> representations of movement; rather, mobile literacy ethnography requires
> attention to the ways in which historical bodies influence
> more-than-representational doings of mobility.
> Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education, University of
> Minnesota
> rbeach@umn.edu
> Websites: Digital writing <http://digitalwriting.pbworks.com>,
> Media literacy <http://teachingmedialiteracy.pbworks.com>, Teaching
> literature <http://teachingliterature.pbworks.com>, Identity-focused ELA
> Teaching <http://identities.pbworks.com>, Common Core State Standards
> <http://englishccss.pbworks.com>, Apps for literacy learning
> <http://usingipads.pbworks.com>, Teaching about climate change
> <http://climatechangeela.pbworks.com>
> On Sep 5, 2017, at 2:11 PM, Antti Rajala <ajrajala@gmail.com> wrote:
> Reviving this conversation after some time (after being two weeks in
> conferences).
> Richard raised the notion of dialogicality of settings, or between
> situations and traditions. Continuing the dialogicality theme, I am
> reminded of the concept of chronotope that has been discussed in this forum
> earlier. I think Bakhtin addressed a similar idea of the dialogicality
> between time and space (Richard was talking about situation and tradition)
> in a novel (or in educational interpretation, in a community of practice).
> For example, he described some novel genres in which the setting was almost
> as a museum where nothing is changing and other genres in which the novel
> characters and the surroundings are in a mutually developmental
> relationship, both undergoing and being part of a developmental process.
> So this points to a variety of ways in which time and space - or situation
> and tradition - can be dialogically related.
> In our paper, which I linked, we show that the different actors during a
> field trip seem to have very different relation to the setting. For the
> teacher, the setting is almost a static background that can be used for
> illustration. This is not a very developmental relationship between the
> setting and the actors. For the environmental educators, the forest seems a
> bit like a museum to be preserved as it is, they think that the kids should
> learn to be in the forest without changing it (e.g., "destroying bug
> homes").
> Antti
> On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:45 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> Thanks for adding Bertau (who I discover now) and Linell. This begins to
> sound like polyphony!
> Alfredo
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of Richard Beach <rbeach@umn.edu>
> Sent: 21 August 2017 22:07
> To: 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* ?
> Related to Andy’s discussion of “settings” as a unit of analysis, based on
> her work on use of language as a Medium for constituting “in-between”
> meanings, Bertau (2014) posits use of “situations” and “traditions”:
> Thus, the two basic aspects of communication are “situations” and
> “traditions.” The link between situations (1) and traditions (2) is given
> by the fact that participants in (1) contribute over time to the
> sustaining/changing of the long-term practices of (2). A simple chaining in
> time? Not for Linell, whose dialogical stance allows him to go right beyond
> a pure sequential-temporal chaining of (1)-(2)-(1)- (2) that would amount
> to a simple accumulation in time. Rather, for Linell, there is dialogue
> between (1) and (2). This is grasped by the very term of double
> dialogicality: the fact that participants “engage in both situated
> interaction and sociocultural praxis” (2009, p. 52). So, by their actual
> language activity, subjects both engage and perform a situated, unique
> verbal interaction and enact the sociocultural praxis the verbal forms they
> perform belong to (e.g., they perform the conversation belonging to a first
> date in a restaurant, to a family dinner, to an academic reception).
> But what is really interesting is that this dialogical link makes (2), the
> tradition, perceivable : “Double dialogicality makes us see an … utterance
> both in its singularity and in its wider sociocultural and historical
> belongingness” (Linell, 2009, p. 53). There are interdependencies between
> (1) and (2), interactions (= 1) have situation-transcending aspects (= 2).
> The examples Linell gives are the case of a speaker who refers to his own
> words in other occasions, the case of a speaker who breaks out of the
> current genre (giving a lecture) and shifts into another one (narrating a
> personal anecdote): dialogues with own, past utterances, and dialogues with
> framings of genres. That kind of referencing and indexing leads to Linell’s
> term of “recontextualization,” addressing the traveling of utterances
> through texts and contexts.
> Linell (2009, pp. 248–249) distinguishes three types of
> recontextualizations, operating on different time scales, where the first
> two types correspond to the token level, the third type to the type level:
> (a) within the same conversation (participants make use of the same
> expressions several times), (b) to other texts or discourses (re-using or
> alluding to elements of other specific discourses/texts), and (c)
> borrowing/importing of other genres or discourse orders or routines. So, we
> can see these types of recontextualizations as possibilities of indexing
> (2), the tradition, in (1), the interaction.
> The following brief analysis is now possible. According to our temporal
> being-ness, we experience the situation, the actual interaction (= 1) now .
> And we also experience the tradition of practices (= 2) now : exactly
> through these strategies of referencing and indexing, of borrowing and
> importing, quoting ourselves, others, genres, discourses, by performing
> reprises and variations, re-invoicements and re-listenings according to
> formats we reiterate countless times in a great (although not unending)
> diversity of speech and-listening practices. All these language activities
> call in, and thereby construct, our tradition. We “have” our tradition only
> in this mode of calling-in, so we experience our tradition again and again
> by way of performance of language practices, in our forms, or better: our
> formations according to conventionalized, public patterns—we hear the
> tradition for instance in certain intonatory and syntactic patterns, in
> ways of asking a question.
> Cases like migration coupled with the forced use of an alien language, or
> the isolation from one’s speaker community (in prison), but also common
> bilingualism shows how painful it can be to not “have  a language”: on the
> contrary, it is obvious that language can disappear, that it can get
> thinner and lose contact to reality, which is nothing but others’ reality
> we could share. So, the socio-historically transmitted tradition is a
> present practice.
> Bertau, M-C. (2014). Exploring language as the “in-between.” Theory &
> Psychology, 24(4), 524 –541.
> Linell, P. (2009). Rethinking language, mind, and world dialogically.
> Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.
> Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education, University of
> Minnesota
> rbeach@umn.edu
> Websites: Digital writing <http://digitalwriting.pbworks.com/>, Media
> literacy <http://teachingmedialiteracy.pbworks.com/>, Teaching literature
> <http://teachingliterature.pbworks.com/>, Identity-focused ELA Teaching <
> http://identities.pbworks.com/>, Common Core State Standards <
> http://englishccss.pbworks.com/>, Apps for literacy learning <
> http://usingipads.pbworks.com/>, Teaching about climate change <
> http://climatechangeela.pbworks.com/>
> On Aug 21, 2017, at 2:10 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> 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!
> Alfredo
> ________________________________________
> 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.
> https://www.academia.edu/34293982/Rajala_Akkerman_
> Researching_reinterpretations_of_educational_activity_in_
> dialogic_interactions_during_a_fieldtrip
> Antti
> 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