[xmca] Activating postmodernism

From: Ricardo Japiassu (rjapias@uol.com.br)
Date: Wed Oct 12 2005 - 14:19:52 PDT

Lois and all,




Your text

HOLZMAN, Lois. Activating Postmodernism Draft article to appear in Theory &
Psychology, February 2006.

You distinguish social therapy approach from traditional psychotherapy
stating that


“Within traditional psychotherapeutic work performance is best known as a
tool for result (an instrument for interpretation or insight). The general
idea behind psychodrama and drama therapy, for example, is that by “acting
out” instead of “talking about” their lives, people will reveal things that
they otherwise cannot or will not. Others use drama techniques to encourage
interpersonal relationships and group values as a way for people to learn
how to express their problems with the group or a group member. Recent
developments within postmodern psychotherapy, however, relate to performance
in a more tool and result fashion. Social constructionists highlight the
performatory aspects of subjectivity, agency, activity and human relations
(for example, Anderson, 1997; Gergen and Kaye, 1992; McNamee and Gergen,
1992, 1999; Rosen and Kuehlwein, 1996). And with activity theory, in
addition to Sawyer’s pioneering work relating to performance as a
socio-cultural-historical unit of analysis, Lobman (2003, under review)
brings postmodern ideas to bear on Vygotskian approaches to early childhood
education. Unlike in psychoanalytic and group dynamics approaches, what is
important in all this work is the collaborative activity of performance; the
focus is on the ensemble activity of creating the performance rather than on
interpreting what it “means.” “ (p.17-18)



I would add saying that in psychodrama and in Boal’s Rainbow of Desire
therapeutics, for example, the main scope is to reach catarsis – or the
subject’s “cure”. What appears to me much promising in your approach is the
fact of social therapy to underline the pathology of everyday life and
day-to-day operational language/discourse. A tool-AND-result methodology to
enlarge people’s counscious activity in speech and thinking by words.
Interesting to compare your point of view with the perspective adopted by
LOPES, Lawrence M. ( 1981) Problem solving in a human relationship: the
interactional accomplishment of a “zone of proximal development” during
therapy. The quaterlly newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human
Cognition. UCSD: jan, v.3, n.1, p.1-5. Also to him “It is in considering the
requirements for producing and sustaining change that Vygotsky’s idea of a
“zone of proximal development” becomes relevant.” (p. 4).


In Spolin’s theater games also the focus is in improvisational collaborative
activity of performance. But, on contrary, inside her original system rules
there is no room enough to go ahead a narrow understanding of “stage” and
theatrical activity.





Ricardo Japiassu

Professor Adjunto



Departamento de Educação/Campus XV - Valença/Ba

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Tento - Valença

45400-000 BAHIA



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