Re: [xmca] interweaving vs intersubjectivity

From: Tamara Ball (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2006 - 20:04:27 PDT

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
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

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. ...
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
Tamara Ball
doctoral studies
Education Department UCSC
home phone: (831) 420-1080
xmca mailing list

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