RE: [xmca] Vygotsky on Identity? - LSV never wrote on Identity :)

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Wed Nov 28 2007 - 14:42:16 PST

This morning I DID find a place where Vygotsky (or his translators) uses the word "identity". (I'd love to know the Russian for it!)
  It's Volume Five, the very last page of his book on the pedology of the adolescent (p. 184). First, there is (apparently) a really TERRIBLE mistranslation of something LSV writes about Spranger:
  "He points out that no period in our life is remembered as are the years of sexual maturation."
  In English, this means that we remember these years well. But LSV apparently means to say exactly the opposite: "In recollections, significantly less is retained of the real rhythm of internal life during these years than of internal life at other age levels."
  Then he equates "memory" and "identity", which confirms what I was arguing: LSV has little use for the concept of identity because for him it means "self-identicalness", and he is a militant developmentalist.
  "We know that memory is the basis of what psychologists usually call unity and identity of the personality. Memory is the basis of self-consciousness. Disruption of memory usually indicates a transition from one state to another, from one structure of the personality to another. For this reason it is typical that we do not remember our sickly conditions and our dreams very well."

  It seems to me that he's using "identity" the same way that Volosinov uses it: he means a largely imaginary monolithic, monologic, self-similarity. For the revolutionary LSV, it is not necessarily a desideratum, despite the implied contrast with dreams, adolescence, and the deliriums of TB!
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
xmca mailing list
Received on Wed Nov 28 14:44 PST 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Dec 11 2007 - 10:18:42 PST