RE: goals, agency, and interplay of forces

Date: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 11:18:20 PST

Quoting IRAJ IMAM <>:
> Is this process any similar to that of 'expansive learning' where a
> new space of learning has to be produced for the learner?

David asks:

"I was wondering whether there are non violent ways to break with a shared
situation of domination and if they exist, which are they?"

I am not sure if I am clear on what you mean by 'non-violent.' Coming from
spatial and social theory background, I can not imagine any activity that
its process (and outcome) does not include transformation, and that involves
breaking the old up and producing something 'new'-- even if the new is the
old maintaining itself by eliminating other alternatives.

If I understand 'expansive learning' correctly, it seems to me that is what
supposed to happen in the ZPD. I imagine that ZPD is a supportive social
space where the learner can take small risk and make mistakes until she gets
is right. The teacher/parent/coach/counselor scaffolds for the learner to
learn. This condition points to a non-violent social space. or, does it?

Learning or any other transformative process, by definition, is about
identifying, acknowledging, and engaging with opposing forces. Since
contradictions are mediated, one seems to have to face and experience the
tension and anxiety of the interplay of conflicting forces (at individual
and group levels) and participate in them. This process of change, in a
general way, seems to involve some form of 'violence' --not physical
violence, but perhaps mental violence (changing of the mind).

David, I may have missed your question. Here is another try with help from
spatial philosopher Henry Lefebvre (Production of Space, 1997). According to
him, if one wants to create something new, one has to create a new space for

A new mental space (learning), then projecting in into the physical space to
produce new social space (activity). It is all about production of new space
(mental, physical, social). Because this has to occur in an already produced
existing dominant space of the past, 'violence' is already present in the
form of existing domination and yet the new force has to produce its own
space through interplay with the old (a la Foucault) --and the outcome
depends on the balance.


iraj imam
The Center for Applied Local research

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