Re: [xmca] interweaving vs intersubjectivity

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Thu Oct 19 2006 - 10:28:11 PDT


Rommetveit is so important to this discussion so far new adhesions
have not appeard that I know of so your note is very welcome. but it
reminds that Jim Wertsch organized a special issue of MCA on
RR, and that might be worth returning too, especially since Mary
brought up Bakhtin.

On 10/18/06, Tamara Ball <> wrote:
> In the context of this discussion I have been thinking hard about
> Rommetveit's suggestion that claims of "pure intersubjectivity" are at
> best a convenient analytic fiction and the the "attunement to the
> attunement of the other" represents an endless process of negotiation(
> i.e. the exchange). I am also reminded of Matusov's (1996) discussion
> of intersubjectivity without agreement. These discussions seem to rely
> on distinctions between self and other.... or at least "different
> positions".
> Quoting Rommetveit (1992)
> i) "different potential aspects of our external world (i.e. of actions,
> objects, events and other not-yet-verbally described states of affairs)
> are generated when states of affairs are made sense of an brought into
> language from different positions ii) aspects of that external world
> generated on the basis of firmly shared ecological-cultural background
> conditions tend to be come objectified and acquire the status of shared
> social realities. iii) such firmly shared background conditions
> constrain the range of possible human perspectives on states of affairs
> in everyday communication yet themselves as a rule remain
> unacknowledged as long as they stay fixed. iv) Human cognition and
> communication are, within limits set by such constraints, characterized
> by perspectival relativity.
> However Rommetveit also insists that the developing mind is said to
> be embedded in a Bakhtinian "polyphonic cultural collectivity" and
> "dialogically constituted" as reciprocal adjustments are required to
> negotiate any ALMOST joint focus of attention.
> Still to the extent that these discussions of perspectival-relativity
> assume that joint-attention can never be fully achieved ( Also see
> Tomasello's comparative studies of joint attention in chimps and
> infants) it seems to me that they come to bear on discussions of
> individual subjectivity and perhaps by extension on agency.
> But perspectival relativity is not intentionality which Lemke said in
> 1995 is a distributed phenomenon (is this actor-network theory?):
> "There is no internal locus of control. Control in self-organizing
> systems (i.e. indivduals) results like everything else from patterns
> of connectedness, the auto and cross-catalytic cycles of
> interdependence of constituent processes. Behavior just happens it is
> not planned it is not controlled from some goal-defining site either
> internal or external.
> Those are my graduate student two cents
> Tamara
> On Oct 14, 2006, at 6:03 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> > I think the point about using words like 'relational' 'mutual',
> > 'reciprocal', 'entwined', and 'interwoven' is simply that they are
> > "motherhood" words. *All* social psychologists will claim that they
> > see things this way and can pepper their writing with these words
> > without any cost. The point is: what concepts actually give us a real
> > ability to grasp things as "'relational' 'mutual', 'reciprocal',
> > 'entwined', and 'interwoven'"?
> > Andy
> > At 03:54 PM 13/10/2006 +0000, bb wrote:
> >> .... But what is important about this sentence is the need for us to
> >> share a better understanding of 'relational' 'mutual', 'reciprocal',
> >> 'entwined', and 'interwoven'. I, personally, do not view these as
> >> jargon, ethereal and fleeting, but rather specifying particular kinds
> >> of relations, projected by particular theoretical orientations. For
> >> example, I cannot claim to know a lot about Mike Cole's deep
> >> assumptions, although I've met him at least once, and I've read his
> >> his most recent book in which he does use the term "interwoven". I
> >> think Mike can best speak to what this means. ...
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> Tamara Ball
> doctoral studies
> Education Department UCSC
> email:
> home phone: (831) 420-1080
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
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